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Russophobia as new US American politically-correct anti-Semitism

It would be wrong to say that Blacks or Jews are “genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor” But you can make similar claims about Russians – no problems. Sociopathic Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed)   is the leitmotiv of US foreign policy toward Russia

 

Who Rules America > Neoconservatism >
News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Cold War II Perfidious Albion
NeoMcCartyism USA-Russia Gas War Peak Cheap Energy and Temporary Oil Price Slump Antirussian hysteria as a method of suppressing of dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection with DNC leak and emailgate Russian Diplomacy
Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism False flag poisonings Skripal poisoning Litvinenko poisoning History of American False Flag Operations DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
Magnitsky case Nulandgate The Rape of Russia Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border Putin-did-it fiasco Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
British poisoning false flags MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage Great Plunder of Russia after the dissolution of the USSR Obama: a yet another Neocon Professor Steven Cohen Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization  Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Diplomacy by deception Net hamsters
Pussi Riot Provocation Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Neoliberal Compradors Navalny's Saga
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment America and the Imperial Project Demonization of Putin Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nemtsov assassination
Color revolutions The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Russian Color Revolution of 2012 From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Most important anti-Russian propaganda campaigns Comprador vs. national bourgeoisie America and the Imperial Project "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries The Deep State Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Russian foreign policy Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Brain Drain American Exceptionalism    
Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Economics of Peak Energy Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Humor Etc


Introduction

The current US policy of simultaneously antagonizing both China and Russia
 will likely go down as one of the 21st century's more significant strategic miscalculations.
Assuming of course that it is a part of some strategy and not just bumbling incompetence.
Is Russia Being Driven Into the Arms of China

This page is written in hope to help Russian language students to understand the country they are studying despite the level of brainwashing typical for MSM in the West. My own views on the problem were  influenced by Professor  Stephen F. Cohen  whom I really admire and follow.

Russophobia is not actually only about Russia and not only a modern politically correct version of anti-Semitism practiced by the USA neoliberal elite. It is also form of social control of US population and suppression of dissent, which can be frames as "Russian agents" in best  McCarthyism traditions (NeoMcCartyism ).

Its essence is scapegoating of the particular nations/ethnicity and as such it is very similar, almost identical in sprit to anti-Semitism (I just replaced terms in Wikipedia definition of Antisemitism ):

Russophobia is hostility to, prejudice, or discrimination against Russians A person who holds such positions is called an Russophobe. Russophobia is generally considered to be a form of racism. It has also been characterized as a political ideology which serves as an organizing principle and unites disparate groups which are opposed to liberalism.

Russophobia may be manifested in many ways, ranging from expressions of hatred of or discrimination against individual Russians...

Here is another  "adapted" definition (from The UK s Labour Party and Its Anti-Semitism Crisis)

The definition states:

"Russophobia is a certain perception of Russians, which may be expressed as hatred toward Russians. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of  Russophobia are directed toward Russian or non-Russian individuals and/or their property, toward Russian community institutions and religious facilities."

The uncontroversial "illustrations" of  Russophobia:

Scapegoating is an important part of Propaganda machine, especially war propaganda.  Brainwashing people this way artificially (and temporary) increases social cohesion (as any enemy would) and was evoked as a defensive tool when the neoliberal elite experienced the loss of legitimacy as happened in 2016.

The loss of legitimacy of neoliberal elite which  resulted in political fiasco of the establishments candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- is  why McCarthyism was dusted off and launched into mainstream with all major neoliberal MSM promoting it with the level of coordination that might cause some envy of stalwarts of Bolsheviks press.

Overextending this trick has negative consequences as Soviet Politburo discovered in 70th. It's like boy who cried wolf: people just stop trust neoliberal media and  this process already started in 2019 with Rachel MadCow being one  of the first victim: she lost half a million viewers (may be temporary, as she is a talented demagogue, but still).

The current crisis of neoliberalism  and discreditation of neoliberal ideology (2008  and then defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016 are two stages of the same process) created conditions in which reinventing "Red Scare" again became important, as a tool of controlling US (and in general, Western) population and crushing the dissent.

It is also important to understand that Russophobia in many Western countries and first of all in the USA, is an official policy. Much like in Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) was during certain period official policy in Rome.  USA elite inherited it from British elite. In this sense the current US neoliberal empire can be called the Western British Empire (the term which creates several interesting historical analogies, including its possible length of existence  ;-)

American neoliberal elite like the British elite before now badly need an enemy to unite nation as well as a smoke screen that hides their own corruption. Russophobia definitely helps to suppress internal discontent caused by growing inequality, unemployment, shrinking of the middle class and justifies the conversion of the country into National Security State after Islamic threat became less potent.   Another goal is to prevent  the alliance of Germany and Russia -- which  was the goal of British foreign policy for two centuries.

The mass production of faux news demonizing Russians invokes depictions of Orwell's nefarious Eurasians from whom the populace needed Big Brother for protection. Reincarnation of Ministry of Truth by Barack Obama is just another stage of the same process -- now like Soviet Politburo, the US government is afraid that the US people will be informed about the real events in the world.  And that like BBC and Voice of America in the past were used by Soviet population, at least some segments of US population started using RT the same way -- to understand where MSM lie to them.  Like with Voice Amercan int he past, it is not necessary to buy Russian propaganda to see where neoliberal MSM completely distort the world event and hide important  information. For those purposes RT can serve perfectly well.

Russophobia as Freudian projection of the behaviour of the  US neoliberal elite and the US intelligence services

In a similar vain, in the current international situation, I would also consider Russophobia to be some kind of Freudian projection, a politically correct way of replacing  anti-Semitism. Kind of subconscious substitution of Jews to a different, "more acceptable" (aka politically correct)  nationality, with all related consequences and moral repercussions that entail this equivalency. 

There is tragic irony here as Russians in the past were guilty of anti-Semitism (like most European nations).  Now they probably might understand better what it means to be  the target of anti-Semitism.  As Arkadiy Rukh observed (cited from dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com ):

"Today, in the era of the total political correctness in the Western world there is only one object for unpunished hatred, for realization of the inevitable phobias and other psychopathologies. This is Russia. Today Russians occupy in the world that niche, which for many centuries was occupied by the Jews: the object instinctive, illogical, animal hatred."

While in many respects Russophobia as a social phenomenon is somewhat similar to anti-Semitism it is also a natural by-product of American Exeptionalism as Russia refuses to accept the role of a complete vassal of the USA, the role that the US elite designated to them after the collapse of the USSR. And the role which was temporary Russia performed under drunk Yeltsin.

In this sense if it a condemnation of the revolt against "inevitable" in the eyes of the US elite world order --  the global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  That also explains the level of bitterness involved. Russophobia became fashionable in Western neoliberal MSM when Russia under Putin became an obstacle on the creation of the global, dominated by the USA neoliberal empire. That resistance to global "neoliberal project" -- neoliberal World Revolution  (although weak and inconsistent -- under Putin Russia became a member of WTO and Medvedev in general is a 'soft" neoliberal, almost a pro-Western comprador) also generates considerable amount of hate. 

Pages of European and American newspapers and their comments columns, are packed with expressions such as

and other similar cliché that clearly remind cliché used by German propaganda against Jews. This anti-Russian hysteria also helps to erase Snowden revelations from Western collective memory as well as WikiLeaks depiction of the USA war crimes.

 The hatred of Russia  as "a new normal"  for the USA political elite, as it was for the  British elite in  the past

The hatred of Russia  now is "a new normal" for the US neoliberal establishment and controlled by this establishment MSM.  How and for what reasons did this happen? The first thing to understand is that this is not a new phenomenon. British elite were adamantly Russophobic for a long time, several centuries:

The historian J. H. Gleason, in his 1950 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, characterized the nineteenth-century English public’s “antipathy toward Russia” as the “most pronounced and enduring element in the national outlook on the world abroad.”

The sentiment, Gleason concluded, was concocted by a manipulative, imperial-minded elite—and was off base, anyway, since Britain’s foreign policy was actually “more provocative than Russia’s” in this period. Others concur. “The world champion imperialists of modern history, the British, were in a permanent state of hysteria about the chimera of Russia advancing over the Himalayas to India,”

While observations of Arkadiy Rukh are, in my opinion, absolutely correct (the article I cited above is pretty interesting too and contains a valuable discussion) I would add a more recent neoliberal edge of this problem (The Vineyard of the Saker):

The historical roots of the Russophobia of the American elites

Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.

In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West's current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists - such as Nikolai Starikov - estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).

In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews - they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply Russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army's liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.

It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by "America" we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.

... ... ...

Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings - there still are today - but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don't really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.

US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.

First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for "standing up to the bastards in Washington". But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.

In the case of the war in Syria, Russia's absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.

Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the "West of yesterday", not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.

In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that "we can't allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You've got Russia Today, Iran's Press TV, Venezuela's TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world". Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.

And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam's wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the "leader of the Free World" while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.

Western elites - still stuck in the Cold War

If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don't stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia - every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the "Eurasian Sovereignists" at the expense of the "Atlantic Integrationist" faction inside the Kremlin.

There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of "Happy birthday to you!" by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw "their" Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!

... ... ...

On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was "big enough" to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?

It would be naive to hope that this "de-imperialization" process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God's great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.

So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic's puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that "they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere".

In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That "pas de deux" is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare "I'm not anti-America, America is anti-me!" and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.

In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.

It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current "Greenpeace" campaign you will keep all this in mind.

The Saker

The USA and Russian should be strategic partners

During the "cold War" the "old" US elite behaved more or less reasonably and tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Several moments were clear exception (Korea War, Cuban crisis, Vietnam war and support of radical political Islam in Afghanistan), but all-in-all it was kind of policy of "peaceful coexistence" (live and give other chance to live), not of an outright "all out" confrontation.

Intelligence agencies behaves more provocatively, especially CIA in Europe, which organized and trained Nazi collaborators for the resistance to the possible Soviet invasion, and subsequent guerilla movement against Soviet occupation.  Also in case of JFK assassination, the patsy was chosen by the CIA in a way that makes it easy to implicate Russia. But those were exception, rather then the rule.  Probably the memory of the WWII and the level of cooperation of two countries in this war as allies still played some role in such restrain.

But eventually a new generation of US elite, the elite did not have WWII experience come to power.  This  new US elite tried hard to colonize Russia instead of making it a valuable partner after dissolution of the USSR. Bill Clinton and Larry Summers are two good example of this behaviour.

This adventurism backfired.  This was probably the first blunder, the blunder make by Clinton administration -- the first administration with a lot of neocons onboard (we all remember unforgettable female neocon Madeleine Albright).  they failed to utilize pro-USA fe4elings of the Russian population after the dissolution of the USA. Should the USA adopt the Marshall plan for Russia those feelings would be preserved. But the Clinton administration decided to loot  Russia and concert it into a vassal state. That was a strategic mistake, although looting succeeded on a really grand stale (several trillions were stolen) with the help of Harvard mafia and Russian compradors.  The instituted shock therapy for  the Russian economics which plunged it into depression which was worse thatn the one which was coursed by the Germany aggression in WWII.  Many important enterprises went bankrupts, other were bought by foreign investors for pennies on the dollar (Browder was one notable example of this "looting gang" that descended on Russia at the time; Berezovsky, Khodorkovsky and other Jewish oligarchs were another important players in this looting)

Subsequent administration also demonstrated strong neocon influence (actually neocons, such as Paul Wolfowitz dominated Bush II administration foreign policy)  and due to it made several strategic blunders such as invasions in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya.  And that despite the fact the Russia provided great help in Afghan operation, as it essentially controlled (and armed) the North Alliance against Taliban. 

Obama administration essentially continued Bush II foreign policy without major changes. The only change was that is did was more double-dealing. It did get Russia into a trap, when Medvedev government abstained in UN Security council votes for Libyan resolution (which was a disguised justification of NATO military intervention), which opened the way to the occupation of Libya and killing of colonel Kaddafi ("We came, we saw, he died").  Obama administration also masterfully played Iran card against Russia, crashing oil prices three times (from $120 to $30) from the second half of 2014 to January 2016 and keeping oil prices below $50 per barrel (on average) all 2016 (Russia needs approximately $50-$55 just to balance the state budget).

It also outplayed Russia in Ukraine tuning this county into nationalistic enclave extremely hostile to Russia (see "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place ). And then to add insult to injury introduced sanctions against Russia. Obama might be not a great president, but he for sure is one of the greatest hypocrites in world history.

But those attacks as well as a clear attempt to encircle Russia in Europe backfired: if you pursue containment of China and at the same time introduce sanctions against Russia it is only natural that these countries will become closer political partners. From the point of view of traditional American and any other political logic, actions that contribute to the rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing, are, to put it mildly, unwise.  And that what Obama administration archived. This is the main legacy of Obama administration in foreign policy, which was dutifully continued by Trump administration (actually the USA foreign policy does not depend of who is in power as the President and who is the Secretary of State; it is controlled by the Deep State -- forces outside elected executive branch and which consist of MIC, intelligence agencies and the Wall Street (financial oligarchy) as well as created by then think tanks such and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)). 

Russian elite for too long was trying to please the Western colleagues. They swallowed completely unacceptable things. Gorbachov is generally considered in Russia as a traitor of the nation. They resigned to NATO expansion. Even after the bombing of Yugoslavia, which was  a clear violation of international law, they still viewed the USA a friendly nation and hoped for the best. Another problem was that Russia was too weak at the moment, kind of semi-colony of the USA (and Yeltsin regime was clearly a comprador regime, no question about it). 

But at this point attitude to the USA start changing to negative.  After Ukrainian coup d'état of February 2014 (Maydan Revolution, as it is called in the West) this change only accelerated and "Athlantists" group enough Russian neoliberal elite lost a lot of influence and became politically ostracized. . In other words huge amount of political goodwill that existed in Russia after dissolution of the USSR was completely squandered in less then 30 years.   That's an amazing art of making enemies from friends.

But at the end of Obama administration Russia just stopped to trust the USA. At all. They view Obama as treacherous and extremely dangerous imperialist, who will not stop at anything by promoting the US domination.  That means that they now view the USA as a geopolitical gangster, which is violating any laws in impunity using classic "might makes right" principle. That's a dangerous view and dangerous situation for the USA.  This is another geopolitical blunder of the US elite.  This view only became stronger under Trump administration.

I never was a Russian citizen, but I was and still am interested in Russian politics and, especially, culture. I think that it is a European culture in its essence. Very interesting and very rich. Which was able to survive years of Soviet rule. So attempt of isolate Russia from Europe attempted by Obama neocons (see Nulandgate), following classic "device and conquer" strategy of British Empire, might be a geopolitical mistake despite short term dividends  this  action brought to the USA geopolitical position in the region.  It also increase the  changes of WWIII, which definitely would mean end of the USA as the global empire  and probably as a country (the same is true for Russia -- both countries will be completely devastated)

Neocons as the owners of the USA foreign policy. Full Spectrum Dominance mantra

Neocons defined Russia as the main threat. In other words deterrence of Moscow became the strategic goal of the USA foreign policy, which is essentially a neocon foreign policy, the policy of obtaining and maintaining the world domination at all costs. 

That means that the efforts to explicitly shape the USA public opinion to see Russia as the key geopolitical enemy are dictated by priorities of the USA foreign policy, which is defined by neocons.

This "Anaconda strategy" of encircling Russia got a significant boost after the victory of far right in EuroMaidan. This event has become for a great geopolitical victory for the USA and humbling defeat for Russia. Russia was in bad shape to prevent it, as the logic of development of new state immanently produces anti-Russian sentiments as the mean to create their own identity. But still weakness of Russia in Ukraine was real and signify a serious problems ahead. Also the USA is way to strong to go into open confontation with the US neocons, which dominates the US foreign policy.

The reaction of Russia on far right victory at EuroMaydan gave rise in in the US establishment, to even more active implementation of the strategy of confrontation, and propaganda campaign against "the Russian threat".  Like Bolsheviks before them (and neocons are just turncoat Trotskyites, so there are a lot of common between two), they hate any obstacle on the path to creation of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. This strategy involves increasing the military presence on the European continent and military power of NATO. Much tougher stance toward Russian projects in Western and Eastern Europe and in attacks on the level of international organizations. Along with the anti-Russian operations in Europe, the US and its satellites are active in the countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. A good example is the recent attempt to organize a Maidan in Armenia.

The role of skepticism toward neocon propaganda

My negative attitude to distortions and clearly orchestrated by White house  anti-Russian campaign in the USA press reflects my natural skepticism. I am not content with typical coverage of Russia in the USA press which reminds me the caricature on the USA coverage by Soviet press (which at the time had higher standard of living the people of the USSR and low level of unemployment).  I consider hysteric Russophobia that is now practiced  to be simplistic and counterproductive policy which serves to promote equally shortsighted global imperial policy that benefits only the US financial oligarchy. Policy that has considerable cold-war inertia and that is damaging to the USA long term interests. Most journalists are simply behave like paid attack dogs (a good example here is Mr. Wallace: his interview of Putin was an insult to the American people; Wallace actually tried to lecture Vladimir Putin).

Here I collected some of the authors who try to see more long term approach and try to present their own understanding of the complex problems related to previous US attempt to colonize Russia after the dissolution of the USSR.  Or at least advice a more realistic US foreign policy toward Russia. Of course it is nice to squash the old geo-political enemy like a bug and I would be the first to admit that under Yeltsin West came close to this scenario. Criminal privatization of Russian companies was hugely successful attempt to put an end to the Russia as an independent country. Similar strategy was by-and-large successful in other USSR republics like Ukraine, Georgia and especially Baltic countries creating what can be called New Latin America.

But after Putin came to power, the attempts to convert Russia into yet another Latin American country became gradually reversed (although this process is some areas went too far and to reverse it completely is very difficult). As Ira Straus aptly put it in her letter Russia, U.S. Media:

Nowadays attacking Russia has a politically correct tinge to it, since Russia is a white Christian country. By contrast, attacking China still suffers from being susceptible to counter-charges of racism and anti-Communism. Perhaps this is the source of the strange double standard in which Russia is attacked just about any day for just about anything while China is virtually ignored day after day, month after month for the same and far worse.

Attacking Russia is especially "correct" when it is a matter attacking a Republican Administration for being soft on a Russia that is beating up on Muslims. One doubts that much of the American public shares the media's sensibilities on this. Picture bubba listening as Dan Rather launches into Russia for beating up on Muslim Chechens; he'll probably be telling himself, "there the liberal media go again, standing up for our enemies and blaming our allies the Russians for fighting back". Among Americans who write about politics, only Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter dare to say such things, but many more think it, in whole or in part.

The importance of adversarial culture for the media can be seen from the Bush I administration, which truly was anti-Russian. The media bashed Bush I for this; it became ambivalent on Russia, taking on a more pro-Russian hue than any time before or since. As soon as Clinton got a pro-Russian reputation, the media switched back to Russia-bashing mode. It was Clinton-bashing that was the real point.

In other words, the media should not be taken as a barometer of U.S. government policies on Russia. It is more often an indicator of the opposite.

What does it matter? A lot. The media drumbeat against Russia has an enormous impact on public policy, not only in the US but in every Western country, and in Russia itself. It makes it hard to think clearly, or even to see clearly. It fosters and fans conflict. It promotes a tit for every tat.

First, the effects on Russians. The media play an enormous role in convincing them that we're an enemy. They can see CNN, BBC and other Western media daily, at length; they hear from our government only rarely, and practically never from the American people. They can see the Western media's implicit premises far more clearly than the media themselves do. Mistakenly assuming these premises to represent Western policy, they draw what would be the logical conclusion: that we are their enemy. If Russia does in turn become an enemy again, the media will have been a major cause of it.

Second, effects on Western policy-making are just as damaging. Instead of helping the Western governments do their thinking, the media block out most of the space for it. They make it harder for the West to think out loud about such matters as how to build active alliance relations with Russia, or how to overcome the remaining Cold War standoffs. They make it harder to follow a steady course where cooperation has been agreed, They have done much to cause the West to be an unreliable partner for Russia, an unreliability that democrats in Russia noted with profound regret throughout the 1990s. They prioritize conflicting interests over shared interests, encouraging every minor divergence of interest to grow into a major opposition. Their audience ratings flourish on conflict; and no longer fearing it as risking war or nuclear incineration, they promote it shamelessly.

If we end up with a new Cold War -- and the risk is becoming a real one -- it won't be a small thing. It would mean a nuclear superpower once again ranged against us and the world plunged back into a bipolar disorder, only in more unstable conditions. In that case, the media will no doubt turn around and denounce as "reckless" those who carry out their painful duties in the conflict. The truly reckless ones, however, will have been those in this era who so freely did so much to bring it on.

My personal views are close to views expressed by Anatoly Karlin in About Da Russophile

As regards Russian politics, I make no secret that I’m a pro-Putin conservative. That said, my views are moderate – while Western media coverage of Russia may be woefully biased and frequently malicious, there are certainly plenty of things to criticize about Russia and Russians.

However, they must be grounded in in statistics, an appreciation of the viewpoints of ordinary Russians, and a judicious comparative perspective (which is NOT equivalent to "moral relativism" or "whataboutism" as many of the more hardcore Russophobe propagandists claim).

I think that the Western MSM fails on all three counts:

This blog concerns with calling them out on their lies. As the one-time Guardian chief editor C.P. Scott once said, "Comment is free but facts are sacred." While his newspaper has retreated from this vision in practice, I maintain that it’s the most elegant encapsulation of what real journalism (and punditry, blogging, etc) should all be about.

...I consider Charles de Gaulle to have done a great job, and consider Putin to be a comparable figure in vision and stature.

Russians are coming: War hysteria as classic Adorno

Outside obvious "Lebensraum" motives, it looks like western hate towards Russia rests on some deep inadequacy syndrome. Russia is supposed to be some has-been power that is now of no consequence, yet it gets way more attention than such a worthless state would merit. The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

The amount of negative coverage since Sochi Olympics is bordering on war hysteria. That's dangerous pass as ideas became material things when they penetrate deep into conscience of nation. Hate eventually tends to materialize.

Russophobia as persistent policy of the US government and US media. And all this talk about Russia aggressiveness, and carefully orchestrated related war hysteria in MSM is pure projection. It is the USA which is the most aggressive international player on the world stage.

Russophobia is the unofficial but persistent set of behavioral patterns of the US government and US media. It is clear that US tried to weaken and possibly dismember Russia out of geopolitical considerations which represents a real threat to the US world hegemony. This idea on which the US elite is hell bent since end of WWII and there were even plans to bomb Russia just after end of WWII.

It is the only military power that can annihilate large part of the continental USA, But there is something deeper here. It is also an attempt to unify nation, which under neoliberalism became much less coherent whole and in which 99% of the population hates the top 1% and the level of this hate is increasing, especially in minorities and inner cities.

Russophobia is a crucial part of the US foreign policy. In this respect the US foreign policy is so messianic that it reminds me Soviet foreign policy (with the substitution of "triumph of democracy" for "triumph of communism") and I wonder if the USSR really was a defeated party in the Cold War. This mentality of "export of revolution" is the integral part of mentality of the US elite. The difference with Trotskyism, if exists, is minor, and the key difference between Trotskyism and the US flavor of messianism probably is connected with the smell of oil which radically increases the urge to democratize a particular country. In any case attempt to export democracy in Russia never stopped since 1991 and under Yeltsin were so successful that the country lost more in industrial production then during the second World War and poverty became a norm for more then 50% of the population.

Carthago delenda est (Carthage must be destroyed) attitude exists partially because the Western elites hate resource nationalists independently whether those nationalists are leftist or conservative. Fighting resource nationalists tooth-and-nail is an important, may be even critical part of neoliberal doctrine. The latter is a civic religion in the USA. That means the Russophobia in the USA has strong religious component, and is supported by 500 pound gorilla of the US elite propaganda machine. In other words there is a strong, consistent tendency of demonization of Russia (Paul Starobin, The National Interest Blog, August 28, 2014):

In any case, our taste for a country—favorable or unfavorable—shouldn’t dictate our foreign policy, which is properly shaped by a cool calculation of our national interest. On these terms, America is right to resist Russia if Putin seems truly bent on bullying his way to a redrawn map of Europe, but also right to try to keep working with Russia on matters of mutual concern such as Islamic militancy. And that same calculation will hold when Putin, as must happen eventually, exits the Kremlin, willingly or unwillingly, whether replaced by a new autocrat or a more democratic figure. Today’s heightened tension between the United States and Russia, conceivably the first chapter of a new cold war, with Europe as ambivalent as ever about its role, underscores that Russia is likely to remain one of America’s most vexing and formidable diplomatic challenges for a long time to come.

So the future of the presentation of Russia as a hodgepodge of unflattering stereotypes seems bright. The naive liberal notion that the world has a teleological disposition toward a progressive end—if only holdouts like Russia would get with the program—is deeply entrenched. Headlines datelined in Russia—on corrupt oligarchs, or on control-freak KGB-generation political operators—will continue to nourish sweeping criticism of Russians, from their leaders on down, as primitive and psychologically ill. Probably no other nation is so easy (or so safe) to caricature.

And the “Russia Is Doomed” syndrome is bound to survive because Russia, alas, still matters. The object of such concentrated anxiety over the centuries, far from heading down a path to obscurity, remains a global force and impossible to ignore. So the worries will live on, too, as will the sublimated wish to efface Russia. But perhaps the good news for the critics is precisely that Russia is not about to go away. They will have plenty of grist for their mill for decades to come.

The issue is whether comprador elites subservient to the US are in power, or more nationalistic "national sovereignty" guys. It is true that a nationalist elite can be as predatory as a comprador elite, but a reasonable degree of national sovereignty is a prerequisite for social justice and it is difficult to raise standard of living if your resources are owned by transnationals. The latter automatically became above the law and do what they want with impunity.

Russophobic views on Russia "There is no life there !"

The Russophobic views on Russia can be summed up in three words: "There is no life there !" This simple formula invoke the whole complex system of "corrupt journalism patterns" and powerful propaganda mechanisms polished during 45 years of Cold War. Those journalistic patterns causes most western journalists (not without help of their political handlers as independent journalism in the USA is a joke) treat Russia as a failed state. Not simply a country that temporary dropped out of the world civilization, but the country is doomed to such a drop by the several immanent features such as "national character", climate, landmass, religion, history, etc.

From Dr. MacFaul quotes above it is clear that in the American media and among American politicians Russia occupies a marginal position. After the Soviet Union is gone, they mostly cares about getting assets on pennies per dollar (behaviour of criminals like Mr. Browder, whom McFaul loves so much, exemplifies such an attitude) and to lesser extent about Russia military capabilities, which are still a risk. Although I doubt that.

From the typical US behavior it looks like American politicians are not really interested in any other aspect of Russian situation, other then energy resources (Khodorkovsky is a new saint in the USA, probably for his failed attempt to sell Russia oil resources to US companies). And he is new puppet in the show of finding the possibilities of regime change and installing a puppet regime as they unsuccessfully tried in 2011-2012. They still miss Yeltsin drunk regime and Gaidar-Chubais neoliberal gang, which almost converted Russia into kleptocracy from which Putin tried gradually to extract it with great and not always successful efforts.

It all comes down to a set of cliché: Russia is corrupt (while in reality this is a immanent feature of all neoliberal regimes and first of all the USA, the most corrupt neoliberal regime in existence) , does not respect human rights (unlike Saudis) and does not play by the rules (unlike Libya rebels), is not democratic (unlike Qatar). Russia seems to them so weak and uninteresting, not worthy of a real partnership dialogue. And is arrogant enough not to agree with the status of vassal so she needs to be taken care of:

"To promote liberty requires first the containment and then the elimination of those forces opposed to liberty, be they individuals, movements, or regimes. " - M. McFaul, The Liberty Doctrine: Reclaiming the purpose of American power. Policy Review April & May 2002 The Liberty Doctrine Hoover Institution

Such an ungrateful jerks, who jailed Dick Cheney best friend Khodorkovsky, squeezed this perfectly honest guy, exemplary "the largest portfolio investor in Russia, British citizen William Browder" (Who, BTW, was the USA citizen until recently, but suddenly changed his mind) and so on and so forth. They should be "regime changed". It is like the relationship between schoolchildren, when a bully see a threat on the school yard and acts preemptively.

Very well orchestrated Russophobia campaign of Western MSM

The first thing that surprise me is a very well "coordinated" level of Russophobia demonstrated by Western MSM. The degree of Russophobia in Western press varies very little be it Guardian, or NYT, or BBC or WashPost. As financial oligarchy controls the MSM you can't expect anything different. They act as a pack of dogs. Typical level is treating Russian as forever damned barbarians. Slightly more advanced is treating Russia a legitimate playground for testing the controversial socio-economic doctrines like shock therapy and a land were any foreign crook is entitled to get rich fast (like Browder did ). But the essence is the same, no right for "national sovereignty", no right for any "special way". Those concepts are simply outside a typical Western press journalists "template" that their editors enforce.

As John Drury noted in his comment to U.S. Russia Withheld Intel on Boston Bomb Suspect - WSJ.com

Ridiculous comments populate the blogs, the op eds and the comment sections of most sites. But what unsettles me more is the rabid Russian phobia (call it "Russophobia") which populates the American press (liberal/conservative).

We never see things from the Russian side. It is always Putin who is up to no good, Vladimir, the monster, the balding fool with no shirt flexing his muscles. This is not the Cold War, yet we have not shed our Cold War biases.

See Propaganda and The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment for more information

Two types of Russophobes: "Russophobes by conviction" vs. "Russophobes for money"

Russophobia is a form of racism and studies of other forms of racism such as anti-Semitism are applicable here.

It is a prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Russian people as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. In Baltic states it is close to regime of Apartheid. In Ukraine it has a form of suppression of Russian language and culture

Russophobes by conviction

I have an impression on the personal level sincere and acute Russophobia (not to be mixed with Russophobia as a official line ) can be a compensation mechanism (classic Adorno). I am not talking here about ideological prostitution typical for MSM journalists. But on individual level it looks like projection not that different from other national bigotry and the undisputable and provable fact is that the USA and, especially, Great Britain MSM serves as an "Incubator of hatred" toward Russia. Of course this also tells something very important about the US/GB governments.

I suspect that those who adopt Russophobia position not for money (let's call them "sincere Russophobes") have a personality of sectants/fanatics in a very deep sense of this word. Or like Eric Hoffer called them "True Believers" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True_Believer).

For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities.

In a way sincere Russophobe's are almost extinct minority (but still can be found among Ukrainian nationalists ;-).

Russophobes for money

There a legion of "Russophobes for money". People who are profiting personally from Russophobia nonsense they spew. This is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way. At best they are average with very few exceptions (Belkovski might be one exception). In a way we can view it as a survival tactic of people with mediocre talent in conditions of high competition. Similar displacement into obscure niches can be observed for mediocre people in other professions.

This "Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

"Russophobia for money" is common among all those people who are far from the sharpest tools form the box. As a result they try to occupy a niche that is still available and earn living in such a disgusting way.

Cold War II as an attempt to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and preserve it as an "oil drum" for the West

Cold War II is rooted not in Ukrainian event (The EuroMaydan coup d'état was organized by the USA and Western powers; Crimea was only a pretext) but is closely connected with the neocon attempts to slow down the pace of Russia modernization and secure Russia status as resource vassal of the USA. Here is a part of discussion from Kremlin Stooge that touch this theme in relation to Skolkovo techno-park.

kievite:
April 13, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This is a very apt comment and I wish that your observation comes true. But the problem is that as you :

"The forces arrayed against Russia are sufficiently formidable and sufficiently unrelenting "

First of all the West is rich enough to finance substantial fifth column, especially fifth column media (official $70 millions for support of NGO and "alternative" press is just a tip of iceberg). That’s the essence of neo-colonialism do nothing new here. Also a large part of elite is already linked to the West and is not interested in any confrontation. Nothing new here too.

So the discussion about what level of state capitalism is beneficial (or where Medvedev should stop with his "second liberalization") is complex and far from purely technical one. External forces should be taken into account and once in a while liberalization companies to placate the West are not completely bad idea no matter how you view neoliberalism: state capitalism requires periodic "purges" (Stalin well understood that) and "liberalization" and, especially "fight with corruption" provides perfect pretext for purges. If one looks at some Medvedev’s actions from this angle and you might well come to conclusion that it might be not complete sell-off but a more complex game.

In situation when you need to purge excesses of state capitalism West can serve as a natural ally and in such situation slogan of cat Leopold "Rebyata davayte zhit’ druzhno" (Let’s be friends) suddenly became politically viable at least among the pro-Western part of the elite. And the idea of periodic moving the pendulum from "higher statism" to "higher private enterprise support" in order to avoid stagnation, say, each seven-ten year period is not completely absurd. The main question is whether the process runs out of control or not.

Another possible contention point is that sooner of later oil flow will start diminishing and with it revenues will also start dropping. Currently there are too few industries that can replace the flow the oil dollars. Attempt to revitalize some of the existing heavy industries under the flag of liberalization, if done clever is not a bad idea.

And as much as everybody here hates neoliberalism it is very clear about who should be the victim and provides an ideological justification for cruel actions against own population. Like Bolshevism, it proved to be an extremely potent weapon of convincing population to act against their own economic interests (see What’s the matter with Kansas for details). Perfect tool for the brainwashing "peasants" if you wish, very important when "Pryanikov sladkih vsegna ne hvataet na vseh" (Okudzhava ).

marknesop
April 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm I believe the oil money will go on for some time yet. Current practices are sloppy and inefficient, and more oil could be realized with better, more modern techniques, as well as new discoveries coming online. However, an early start on overhauling general business practices would be time and money well spent.

Medvedev should draw a lesson from Skolkovo. This is a project he has personally sponsored and touted as Russia’s official debut in the high-tech sector. Western response, overall, has been withering and contemptuous, although some major commercial figures (such as Microsoft) have offered early investment optimism. Collective opinion seems to be that Russia will use the new tech city as a base from which to steal foreign technology secrets from investors, or that it will be a dismal failure because Russians have no real ideas of their own. The west is likely to greet other initiatives by Medvedev in the same manner – hearty laughter, followed by offers to come in and make western-style changes for him, in exchange for certain considerations.

kievite
April 14, 2011 at 1:21 am

Very true. Thanks for the response.

You are right: Skolkovo is fuzzy (what exactly is "high-tech") initiative as first of all Medvedev can’t abolish brain-drain and that what will happens with the most talented researchers. The only realistic bait he has is blocking the companies from entering Russian market unless they provide considerable degree of localization and require that some fraction of research be performed in such parks. That’s a variant of policy that China successfully used. But if Russia joins WTO, tariff barriers to protect domestic producers in vital sectors will be more difficult to erect.

At the same time autarky does not work either. So maneuvering between those Scylla of globalization and Charybdis of autarky requires top political skills from the captain of the ship.

Some sectors of Russian heavy industry already are proved abroad and products already have some competitive advantage and export markets. That’s where this comparative advantage needs to be preserved and enhanced with help of techno-parks. State subsidized R&D is really important here and can be provided via small university based local techno parks. This would an excellent employment opportunity for most talented students who otherwise might emigrate and such parks not necessary need any foreign participation. This is especially important if company is partially state owned, as this along with having reps at the board that protects the investment. OK, I would agree, that it’s not necessary need to be people on minister level. It would be sad if he really wants not to reform or improve, but to dismantle state capitalism.

The real problem here that without oil revenue Russia gets into zugzwang. Hopefully, as you noted, that will not be soon.

marknesop
April 14, 2011 at 3:30 am

Yes, you’re right about Skolkovo; I did a piece on it awhile back (here) and Chinese tech parks were cited as an example. It’s funny how the west is all gaga over China, and just brushes off the fact that China has a considerably more predatory business model than does Russia; China shamelessly raids the west for business information and constantly tests them for weaknesses which might be exploited. But, obtusely, it’s Russia that’s held up as the consummate corporate raider.

I believe if Russia were allowed to join the WTO, fewer barriers would be necessary. There’s no reason foreign companies shouldn’t have to contribute to the local economy, but they should receive tradeoffs as well such as low corporate tax rates, and that was one of the considerations. Medvedev seems determined that Skolkovo will succeed, while some elements in the west are just as determined it will be a failure. We’ll see. Russia is a world leader in medical research, and I understand that will be a big part of Skolkovo as well.

Does Russia represent an alternative to the neoliberal economic/social model?

It is difficult to say where Putin's brand of mixture of neoliberal and state capitalism get him and Russian people. I would say that the answer is "reserved no". Currently Russia, while opposing the US hegemony does not provide an alternative economic model. And that's the weakness of "Putinism".

Here is a left-biased, but still very interesting assessment of the situation along similar lines: "All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. " ([Oct 21, 2014] Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values?):

2014/10/19 | Sociología crítica

Danos tu opinión

Un amable lector de este blog ha realizado un resumen en inglés de nuestro artículo Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar; es un resumen diferente al que nosotros hubiéramos hecho, pero de interés sin duda alguna. Ha sido publicado como apoyo a una pregunta en un coloquio con el economista ruso Mikhail Khazin organizado por The vineyard of the saker. Publicaremos aquí la respuesta.

Question: Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? Or is this view an illusion based only on the conflict between some traditional vs. post-modern values? / Arturo

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14 (the rest is provided is a very raw translation --NNB)

  1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the America.
  2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take. On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.
  3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.
  4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this Zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referees here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.
  5. The Anglo elites on both sides of the Atlantic have evolved from being national elites to being the executive base of a world Hyperclass made up of individuals capable of exerting a determining influence in the most powerful nation, the United States.
  6. The result of the Anglo Zionist line of attack is that the contradiction and internal struggle is now occurring in Moscow between those who have already chosen to sell out and those who have not yet found the time to realize that a multipolar global capitalism is not viable.
  7. In this context, recovering Crimea was a mirage, an illusion.
  8. If we compare the implications of the Maidan coup in Kiev with the liberation of Crimea, we see that the strategic defeat implicit in losing Ukraine as an ally is of such magnitude that everything else pales by co s (all of them) in Kiev was so gigantic that its implications are frightening. It was either a failure or something even worse. In any case, the Crimea affair was merely a small episode in a confrontation that Russia is losing.
  9. Russia arrived very late at modern capitalism, and that is why its current elite will be unable to occupy a space among the globalist elite without paying the necessary toll, which is none other than renouncing its territorial power base – its country and its access to and control of its energy resources and raw materials.
  10. Stubbornly maintaining the dispute in trying to obtain a multi-polar capitalism, leads necessarily to a intra-capitalist confrontation, as it did in 1914-1918. And because of the nature of the current actors, nuclear powers … it brings the conflict to 2.0 war versions (color revolutions)
  11. All attempts by Russia to develop a hypothetical line of response based on similar strategies (i.e. mobilizing a social response based on discontent) have no future, because Russia does not represent an alternative social model, not even in the realm of Illusion of Hope. It can only elicit some empathy from those who reject the American domination, but here the class contradictions come into play again, because it is not enough to oppose Washington merely on political-military grounds, since the key to global power resides in the financial and military structures that enable global control and plunder: World Trade Organization, IMF, Free Trade agreements, World Bank, NATO… these are entities in relation to which Russia only shows its displeasure at not being invited to the table as an equal, not accepting that because it arrived late at modern capitalism, it must play a secondary role. On the other hand, Russia is ignoring the deep contempt, bordering on racism, that things Slavic generate among Anglo Zionist elites.
  12. In order to be able to fight the 2.0 versions of war that are engineered today, an alternative social model is needed. Alternative not only in regard to the postmodern vs. traditional sets of values, but fundamentally in regard to the social model that stems from the modes of production. In the postmodern vs. traditional conflict, Russia tends to align with the most reactionary values. And in regard to the social struggle, they don’t want to enter that fray because they renounced it long ago. They renounced the entire Soviet Union, which they destroyed from within.
  13. The contradictions and the dialectical nature of reality have their own logic, however. Thus, a coup in Kiev and the widespread appearance of Nazi symbols in the streets of Ukraine was all that it took to induce a spontaneous reaction in the Slavic world. The popular resistance in the Donbass took strong root thanks to the historic memory of the people’s of the old USSR and its war against fascism.
  14. If Russia were to abandon Novorossia to the oligarchs and their mafias, the world’s “left” – or whatever remains of it — would come to scorn post-Soviet Russia even more than it already does. In the months following the brave action in Crimea and the heroic resistance in the Donbass, many people around the world looked to Moscow in search of some sign that it would support the anti-fascist and anti-oligarchic resistance, even if only as an act of self-defense by Moscow against the globalist challenge. If it finally abandons Novorossia, the price in terms of loss of moral prestige will be absolute.
  15. A support of the left has not been sought, but that is a collateral consequence of the character of class struggle open that has been given in the Donbas, where Russia has been forced to provide some assistance that would prevent the genocide at the hands of the fascist Ukrainian.
  16. Cuando say left, we refer logically to the one who has expressed their support to the struggle of people in the Donbas, as it is very difficult to consider the "left" to those who have preferred to remain silent or to have directly been complicit in the assault, and the coup in Kiev.
  17. The degradation of the left as politically active social force is very intense, their structures are embroiled in the collapse, or in the confusion, when not literally corrupt. Then related to both socialist parties since 1914 and the communists, at least from the time of fracture of 1956. The social changes experienced in Europe with the systems of welfare state, based on the elevation of the standard of living of the working population and the obtaining of social peace by sharing the power with the trade unions are at the base of the post-industrial society and the resulting profound changes of values.

    The suicide of the USSR in 1989-93 marked a brutal global change , in which the balance which was preserved during the cold war was broken. That led to the capitalist elite in the west, which we are calling the Anglo-Zionists, to the suspension of the social pact (forced abandonment of New Deal), that gave rise to the welfare state and the emergence stark reality of a global power of capitalists without systemic opposition . Today the whole neoliberal globalization system of capitalism is in danger by the depletion of the natural resources. And to sustain this mode of production, they need to speed up territorial domination in the form of control and access to resources of other countries. Now there no space in the global system for spaces, which are managed autonomously even to a certain level.

  18. The system of global domination, capitalism, ruling elites with a territorial basis in the area of Anglo-American, global parasitic Hyperclass and depletion of resources, as well as cannibalization of the other nations, in the midst of troika of crisis of climate change, peak of the energy and raw materials shortages. those three factors that challenge the current globalization framework ... And the crisis of Novorossia, been demonstrated both impotence and the lack of real political autonomy of Russian elite with the respect to the dominant power in neoliberal worlds order..
  19. The new citizen movements in the western world are not so much resistance movements as samples of the discontent of the middle classes in precarious position of marginalization and/or social trance. This protest led to a "Maidans" which are not permanent and does not question the basis of the system. The participants seems to believe that it is possible to restore the old good world of the welfare state.
  20. The western movements are brainwashed by messages emanating from the headquarters of Democratic party of North America, the propaganda anarcho-capitalist and the various networks of ideological interference, are managing to break the bonds of historical memory that unite the struggles of the past with the present, de-ideologize the struggles and conflicts and to deny the tension left and right, isolating the militants -- or simple citizens who feel identified with the values of the left - of the masses who are suffering in the first place casualisation. At the heart of this new "left" are leaders that are co-opted voices, pseudo-intellectuals who destroy the words and empty of content of key concepts in a way that the alienation of the masses demonstrate at the language itself, thus preventing putting a real name to social process and things, and to identify the social phenomena.
  21. Viva to Russia, which the only country which eve in a weak form decided to fight neoliberal world order and position itself as an anti-imperialist force... It is interesting to observe the current great moral confusion in political landscape of the societies in decay. Confusion which have been stimulated by Moscow actions. As the result some the far-right groups that are simultaneously anti-US that anti-Russian now support Moscow. Also some part of Russia far-right political groups got the sympathy and support of factions of the anti EU far right forces in France, the Nazis of the MSR in Spain, and from small groups of euro-asianists. This line of political affiliation will allow them to simply join the Russia failure [to find alternative to monopolar neoliberal capitalism] and might well discredit then more profoundly in the future.
  22. The euro-asianists forces technically speaking are reactionary forces, neoliberal forces which is comparable to the worst of the worst in the western world. Moreover, they do not have any way to solve the main contradictions that arise in the current neoliberal model in the terms of class and dominance of Anglo Zionist global elite.
  23. Euro-Asianism is just a suitable ideology for the construction of Russian national idea for those who seeks to achieve lease to life for Russia sovereignty on the world stage. It is the actual proof that Russia has come too late to globalised capitalism and fascism...
  24. Huttington and his war of civilizations cynically exploit this confrontation on Anglo Zionist elite and newcomers, redefining it along the idea of the clash of civilizations which avoid using the notion of class and thus is ideologically false. Alexander Duguin who promote similar ideas quite seriously just shows the degree of degeneration of the Russian intelligentsia, which oscillates between serving as comprador class to the global Anglo Zionist elite and the repetition (as a farce, and with 75 years of delay ) of fascist reactionary revolutions in Western Europe, which were phenomenon of the interwar period (rexistas in Belgium, Croix de feu in France, CruzFlechados in Hungary, Requetés and Falangistas in Spain).
  25. The globalist elite offered a solution formulated in class terms, as it could not be another way: in the best cases, they proposes the co-optation to a handful of members of the Russian elite as deserving members of the new global Hyperclass, but this path is opened only the very very rich, and the pre-condition is the delivery of the country to plunder, where the global elite certainly would have need of some compradors which will be more or less adequately compensated depending on their achievements and sacrifices in the name of global neoliberal domination.
  26. The part of the power elite of Russia, which managed to expel the western compradors of the Yeltsin era, and rein in the oligarchs then, had tried with some success to regain control of the territory of the country. The illusion of the members of this part of the power elite -- basically the security services, both civil and military, and various synergies of those with the military-industrial lobby -- is that it would be enough to neutralize the Russian fifth column of the Anglo Zionists to take back control of their territorial base of power. this idea is going to be shredded into pieces when it enter into contradiction with the reality of the class struggle and interests of the elite at the global level. Russia is, for its size, influence, and resources, so huge that a line of action based on the defense of its sovereignty strategic enters in collision with the global power of neoliberalism. And that why it attracts disproportional reaction of the Anglo Zionists
  27. Supporters of Anglo Zionists that are ready to consent to a German-Russian alliance or Russia-EU alliance that give the viability of a idea of mutually beneficial co-development of both Russia and Europe are forgetting that such an action would require European sovereignty. Which is was non-existent iether on the level of the EU, or on the level of member states. The penetration of the Atlantism in Europe is already systemic. In the old European states there are still ancient national traditions, which were based on the basis of cultural, industrial, economic, and political identity. And they still run strong. But in the current situation for such states there no space for the sovereignty as the dominant power bloc in the national elite as well as in EU elite are Atlantists. Where this situation takes the Russian elite and the Russian state without confrontation? A confrontation that they, on the other hand are not willing and are not able to pursue.
  28. The multi-polar capitalist world had its lifespan which come to an end (exploded) in 1914. In 2014, the globalization of the elites and the capital is of such magnitude that no serious resistance is possible on the basis of some capitalist model. In those conditions the idea of Russian elite ability to enforce change to multipolar version of the currently monopolar neoliberal world is doomed to be a failure.
  29. Zbigniew Brezinsky has raised things crudely and openly, unlike the ("fake") supporters of perestroika, and their current heirs in Russia. Brezinsky know how to think in terms of the class contradiction and knows perfectly well that the Russian oligarchy has directed its monetary flows abroad, moved families abroad, and moved their investments abroad. That means that Anglo Zionists can disrupt any claim of sovereignty over the territory and resources by simply pressing the local neoliberal elite, giving them to choose between their interests as a class and their illusionary desire for sovereignty. Because in a globalized world, with its brutal fight for the natural resources there is no possibility of maintaining both, except what can be achieved in terms of direct anti-imperialist struggle. There is no space for the national bourgeoisies in the XXI century. You can only have sovereignty if it is posed in terms of a rupture with the actually existing neoliberal order of global capitalism, which, in its core is Anglo Zionists globalization. This break does not have to be forced, but in terms of scientific analysis of the social processes is a logical consequence of following this path one way or the other. To claim sovereignty over their own resources and territory inevitably leads to confrontation, and logical needs a break up and confront the Anglo Zionist empire. If you really want to achieve the goal. And that fact imposes the logic of the relationships and balance of power in the world today.
  30. The claims of the BRIC countries -- to the extent that you do not question them -- is that they have an alternative model to the dominant neoliberal capitalism model (Ango Zionist globalization with the center in the USA) are doomed to be a failure. The efforts of the BRIC countries can generate a lot of noise and discomfort for the West, but they can not break the global neoliberal system. Those countries are rightfully fearful of their budget balances -- which are very fragile. It can be even said that they are on their way to implosion sooner or later, due to the unbalanced structure of their internal classes, including first of all their own elite.
  31. The claim that it is possible to achieve the multipolar capitalist world (which Russia defends) and which led to current Ukrainian crisis without confrontation is false. As soon as Russia wanted to return to the global chessboard. as an independent player, they instantly saw opponents attacking weak elements of their defense at the borders. Ukraine has been a defeat for Russia and the Crimea is not a adequate compensation for loss of Ukraine. Now Novorossia is being sacrificed precisely because the class contradictions that have emerged in Moscow and lack of desire of Russian elite to go the bitter end.
  32. The situation in the Donbas / Novorossia clearly shows the resignation of Moscow to the victory, and their desire to avoid the clash with neoliberal world order. The fact is that Royal Dutch Shell has already begun the fracking in the Donbas, the coup regime in Kiev are already internationally accepted without reservations, the truce imposed in Novorossia has brought to its knees the armed resistance to junta. All this leads way to deliver Novorossia to the hands of mafias sponsored by the local oligarchs with friends in Kiev and Moscow.
  33. Statement that the destiny of Russia was played in the Donbas is something more than a phrase, It is a claim based on a reality, as the defeat of Novorossia would be the proof that Moscow had not the will to struggle. The betrayal of the fighters and the hopes of Novorossia is the acceptance of the defeat and might lead in the future to the victory to the Moscow Maidan, the same alliance of compradors and nationalists using which as storm troopers the globalist elite achieved their goal in Ukraine. If Novorossia is defeated, they can expect being able to push a puppet into the Kremlin the same way. And not without reason. This summer, the heroic struggle of the militia of the Donbas was the key element that forced the changes of the script designed for Kiev as well as diminished chances of successful application of the same methods in Moscow. The Minsk Agreements and the truce imposed by them are putting Novorossia on its knees, allowing for its destruction, but this time at the hands of their allies. Sad spectacle for the Russian security services, which were effective enough to organize the Donbas resistance, but now are useless and powerless before the neofascist Kiev junta.
  34. The struggle of the Donbas does not correspond to the strategic interests of the Russian elite. They have been forced to intervene to prevent the horror of the mass murder of the population of the Donbas at the hands of the extreme right. But the dream of a Donbas free of oligarchs and with a sovereign state, committed to social justice for workers on this Slavic land are completely incompatible with the post-soviet status quo. Only to the extent that there is a significant faction of Russian elite aware of the contradictions of the global neoliberal game and who put their sense of patriotism first can lead them to face the challenge that they face. Only in this case there would be any possibility of resistance; I would say patriotic resistance, because we already know no one at the top is able to think in terms of class.
  35. While very unlikely - there can be a move from February to October in Novorossia. You would say impossible. But he insurrection of the Donbas in March, logically was "February". In order to achieve victory, to take full control over the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk needs creation of the Revolutionary Military Council and suspension of the upcoming elections. which looking to be a smokescreen for capitulation to junta. They need to declare that they are ready to resist to the end. This output would be desperate move, without a doubt, and would represent the equivalent of a new "October". The event which of it occurs would force Moscow to show their cards to their own population. And perhaps it can help to generate a pulse necessary for the organization of the fight with Anglo Zionists empire between the towers of the Kremlin. That would move the fight toward more patriotic and popular goals, But this presuppose a lot of assumptions and first of all that such a "Kremlin tower", which is capable of emitted such a pulse, exists. Only in this case we can talk about achieving a real sovereignty. As Vasily Záitsev in Stalingrad suggested: "Maybe we're doomed, but for the moment we are still the masters and lords of our land." In Novorossia there are plenty of fighters who would agree with Záitsev, but they certainly lack political direction and, now the lack the support of Kremlin.
  36. The Russian objective is achieving a multipolar capitalism with a Russia united under a nationalist ideology based on the manipulation of patriotic sentiment, Orthodoxy and various Slavic myths. This objective is being challenged by the reality of the conflict, which should be defined in terms of geopolitical goals. The reality is that the Russian elite would be allowed to control their population as they wish, provided they renounce its sovereignty over territory and resources, renounce their physical power base, i.e. homeland. This is the nature of the challenge. Putin is mistaken if he thinks that the Grand Patriarch has the answer in their holy books. There is not enough incense in the Kremlin cathedrals to mask that reality.”

Demonization of Putin as part of Russophobia

The Demonization of Putin is Not a Policy.
It is an Alibi for the Absence of One

Henry Kissinger

Now let's discuss attempts to demonize Putin by Western MSM. They can be understood only in context of rabid Russophobia of US neocons and their poodles in GB and other Western countries (especially in Germany).

Being tactful of Putin is one thing that I would not criticize the US press for ;-). If only because the track record disqualify them from lecturing, but because one simple fact: I remember how they covered the Chechen disaster and how they covered Iraq invasion by the USA. I strongly dislike Chechen war, as do most Russians. However, it is true that Chechen fundamentalists financed by Saudis have killed hundreds of Caucasian and Russian civilians and were a real threat to the Russian society, whereas the Iraqis were no practical threat to the USA.

Another problem with demonizing Putin is that no one in the US political system is willing to criticize the policies of Boris Yeltsin, which ruined the majority of Russian people, falsified elections and included criminals in his inner circle under close guidance of the USA. Sometime it looks to me that the real Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

And in addition most of US neocons who dominated the USA foreign policy establishment sincerely consider themselves the only game in town. While understanding very little, or absolutely nothing about other countries. And that is statement is equally applicable to neocons dominated MSM such as NYT and Wash Post. American exeptionalism is uniquely blinding phenomenon.

It is actually pretty sad to read the infinite low of articles written without any desire to understand the complex situation in modern Russia. Neocons analytics in regard to Russia is nauseating propaganda. The logic behind such articles is invariably hostile. Moscow either weak or repressive or both. If Moscow sees some processes as a threat, it is racist, if it just lets it happen, it is weak.

No good solution for Russia ever exists according to these people. And it would be better for Russia and the rest of the world if it disappears from the face of Earth as quickly as possible.

See Demonization of Putin for more details.

Apartheid regime in Baltic countries as part of Russophobia campaign launched after dissolution of the USSR

Another influential part of world Russophobic community are Apartheid regimes established in Baltic countries with the direct help of the USA government and, especially, USA emigrant organizations. Western Ukraine also fit this scenario (after EuroMaidan putsch Western Ukrainian when far right nationalists came to power).

Baltic countries refuse to provide citizenship to people of different ethnicity who lawfully lived in them during the USSR period (which lasted half a century or so). Here is an insightful take on Russophobia from veteran Novosty journalist by Pyotr Romanov

A Dispassionate View on Russophobia

10/04/2006

Ability to write about Russophobia dispassionately is similar to the ability to maintain dignity when somebody unexpectedly poor a dirty water all over your head. However, as far as possible, try to talk about this phenomenon, no offense. We will not resent the fact that the "Russian, according to British press - the most stupid in the world." Smile at the argument that the "war against Napoleon won the non-Russian, and lice." We will not discuss with the Japanese man in the street, which feels an antipathy to us, among other things because all the cold storms come on the street it from Russia.

Forget about the Finns, who, according to Western opinion polls, do not love us more than any foreigners. And this at a time when, according to domestic opinion polls, that the Finns have the highest Russian sympathies.

What to do: love evil. In short, keep yourself in hand. It is better to remember the words of George Nathaniel Curzon Marquis, Viceroy of India and at the time the British Foreign Minister: "Every Englishman comes to Russia as Russophobe, and left as a Russophile" This means that in the basis of antipathy towards the Russian lies ignorance and myths. Partly born of life itself, partly by skillful professionals employed by our political opponents: there is such a thing as information warfare. And this is not limited to the Soviet period, but can be traced since ancient times. The disappearance of the Soviet Union did not affect Russophobia much. "New Thinking", which Gorbachev dreamed about never materialized. There is also historical memory. If we talk about ethnophobias, this is an inexhaustible source of poisoned water.

We can present many additional examples, but even from what has been said above, it is clear that the problem is multifaceted and so deeply ingrained in the mind of a typical Western person (to say nothing about establishment -- NNB) that for Russians it is better to forget about an illusion that it can be cured or even drastically changed. Each countermeasure is only a palliative solution.

Thus we should not deceive ourselves - any countermeasure is only palliative. Russophobia glow can be reduced, but to end it might be impossible as is the case with other ethnophoibias.

However, even to lower the level of Russophobia is a difficult undertaking which requires considerable intellectual efforts and financial investments. In addition, the Russian professionals in the field of foreign media (or propaganda, sorry for such old-fashioned word) are long time already listed in the "red book". After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government decided that the professionals who know how to work with foreign media are no longer needed, everything will be done automatically: our friends Bill and Helmut will help. In extreme cases, retired professionals can be without problems replaced by the young and energetic sneakers merchants. It did not happen. Meanwhile, the bad image of Russia means for the country significant economic and political losses.

When it comes to Russophobia, the questions usually turns out to be a surplus, but the answers, even the most sophisticated, almost always may be subject to reasoned criticism. This is further evidence of the complexity and ambiguity of the problem. For example, surveys carried out by foreigners, record that in recent years the attitude to the Russian in almost all countries around the world deteriorated. It would seem that there is nothing to rejoice, meanwhile, history has repeatedly argued that a weakened Russia is far less negative feelings abroad than Russia on the path to recovery, when she, like Phoenix, once again rises from the ashes. Thus, the sharp deterioration of perceptions of Russia by foreigners can simultaneously be a sign that Moscow is perusing a wrong policy, and, conversely, that is peruse absolutely correct policy. It is difficult to sort out.

By the way, if we were talking about the West here, it is curious to see how the West steps for many centuries on the same rake. Whenever Russia is experiencing the most difficult times, Western politicians, believing Russia is close to death, begin to seriously talk about her vivisection, and, conversely, when the "deceased" Russia suddenly opens his eyes, the West falls into mortal fear and hysteria. So it was during the Troubled Times, when the Poles, Swedes and British tried to split Russian lands apart. Under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, when Russia was still weakened Western Europe for the sake of preserving peace in its own backyard identified zones of expansion of the major European powers: our motherland, according to this "peace plan", was granted to the Swedes. The only thing that did not consider the German philosopher, mathematician, lawyer and theologian, Gottfried Leibniz -- the author of this ingenious plan -- the birth of Peter the Great. By the end of the reign of Peter Sweden ceased to be a great power, Russia become an empire, and a Russian soldier, frightened Europe to such hiccups, from which it can not escape for a long time.

Then there was the defeat in the Crimean War, which, as it seemed to many European politicians, forever cemented lag Russian from the outside world, but came to the liberal reforms of Alexander II, who once again raised Russia from its knees. Later there was a First World, revolution, civil war, and those event immediately generated Churchill plan to put an end to Russia once and forever, dismembering her to pieces. And this project also ended in failure, but instead came back scared the West Europeans almost to death, the Soviet Union.

Finally, the collapse of the USSR has created new hopes, and the emergence of a Russian helm of Putin produced a new disappointment: hatred intermixed with fear. Here are typical in the West, the view expressed by one of the Italian journalists: "The USSR is considered a country, lost forever. The recent emergence of Russia as a nation state was a bolt from the sky. " And that's madam did not know yet what order book of Russian defense enterprises in the past year increased by 61%, as recently reported by Russian President. Thunder would be simply deafening.

In short, we are dealing with a déjà vu all over gain: the same way foreign press treated Russia in Europe and after the Troubled Times and after the Crimean War, and after the Revolution of 1917 .

Of course, the fact that due to the fear of Russian bear whose jaws are in Europe, and the tail is located in the Far East, simultaneously flourish Russophobia, does not make Russians happy. But I personally, if we have to choose, prefer to have a strong Russia with a undesirable side effect in the form of Russophobia, than the Russian bear's skin over the fireplace in some western office, which the owner, proudly showing visitors, affectionately scratching behind his ear. Without experiencing any of Russophobia!

Are there any tools that would provide the West at least a middle ground between a pathological fear of Russian and not less pathological contempt for her? I think it is. All I will not enumerate them all. But one thing worth mentioning is mandatory. Necessary, finally, once and for all clear the historic debris, which is really to blame Russian. We can remember, say, Russian-Polish friction because of Katyn. The fact that Stalin's regime committed a crime, we know the whole world, but Russia, including the modern Russia, could not find the courage to tell the whole truth about the Polish tragedy. If you want to, once again apologize, and most importantly to pass, finally, Warsaw, all at our disposal documents. In the end, there are still living relatives of the victims, who have every right to know how their relatives died. Why this is not done until now, I can not understand, especially because the crime is committed not this generation, but fundamentally different, the Stalinist regime.

At the same time, giving the necessary debt, in my opinion, in any case we can not forget about our own claims. Unlike its neighbors, we all too easy to forgive, but it does not promote respect for Russia. Yes, there was Katyn. But until it was no less terrible fate of the Russian prisoners who fell into the hands of the Poles after the failure of the famous Tukhachevsky offensive of Warsaw. There are undeniable evidence how they treated those prisoners, both in Russia and the West. Division of assistance to POW in Poland of the American Union of Christian youth on October 20, 1920 noted that the Russian prisoners were kept in deplorable conditions: indoors, totally unsuitable for housing, with no furniture, sleeping aids, and most importantly - no glass in the windows, despite the cold. In the prisoners had no shoes, clothing, medicines, not enough medical personnel, food. All of the above, conclude U.S. observers, leads "to the rapid extinction of prisoners of war." Really dying by the thousands. No wonder the Lviv newspaper "Forward" December 22, 1920 calls Tuchola camp a "death camp". Thus, Katyn and Tuchola stand side by side. And it is necessary to treat this and ask the Poles of repentance for the brutal treatment of Russian. By the way, we should not have any illusion. About the same barbaric way the Red Army prisoners of war were treated, Baltic states treated the White Army Yudenich forces which retreat to their land. They allowed to passed then through the border in small groups, then confiscated all the weapon, after another mile all the valuables, and then clothes. So they beat is on the based on ideology but simply because they were Russians. Defending our ancestors who were subjected to abuse, we are seeking not only justice but also of self-respect. Man, do not mindful of kinship, respect is not deserved.

However, even if it has been said above about Russophobia, only a small drop in the cap or a smallest piece of a huge iceberg.

In addition, there is still the main problem, without deal with which all the fighting Russophobia is meaningless. This problem is ourselves: our standard of living, our culture, the development of our civil society, our internal and foreign policy, our military and economic power. Weak are always subject to humiliation: that is, unfortunately, human nature.

Any countermeasures -- although without them it situation might get worse -- no matter how sophisticated and skilled as they are, still no substitute for that, I'm talking about. So, first of all, to deal with all of us Russophobia requires a healthy and strong Russia. The fact that in this country and to live pleasantly, of course.

The old wisdom says, to be respected around, start to start to respect himself - a thing that you have created with their own hands.

And there, staring, reconsider their views on the Russian, even touchy Finns.

Coverage of Russia in Western MSMs resembles war propaganda

The Western media even before the Ukrainian Maidan was broadcast events in Russia exclusively in a negative way. Attempts are being made to discredit almost all Russian initiatives and projects, ranging from the Olympics to the elections of the President, etc. For the implementation of anti-Russian propaganda standard techniques of "projection" polished in color revolutions were used. That includes activization via NGOs of the opposition media and opposition figures within the country. The set of  "prisoners of conscience" was created from   academics, businessmen and politicians, who, for various reasons, wished to leave Russia for the West. Corrupt businessmen, who escaped to the West to avoid prosecution in Russia became prisoner of conscience and political oppositionist on the moment they cross the border. Anti-Russian propaganda aims in stressing civilizational, cultural, intellectual backwardness of Russia compared "advanced and enlightened" West.

The purpose of this propaganda "strangulation" of Russia is instituting "regime change" and bring to power the second generation of compradors. As well as further dismemberment of its territory. Some forms on internal conflict are supported as a part of destabilization strategy. With the ultimate goal of second partitioning of Russia and the emergence of new quasi-independent States.

To understand the coverage of Russia in western MSM one needs to understand the mechanisms of war propaganda. The latter is guided by the following postulates well known since the WWI (Falsehood in War-Time):

1. We do not want war.
2. The opposite party alone is guilty of war.
3. The enemy is the face of the devil.
4. We defend a noble cause, not our own interest.
5. The enemy systematically commits cruelties; our mishaps are involuntary.
6. The enemy uses forbidden weapons.
7. We suffer small losses, those of the enemy are enormous.
8. Artists and intellectuals back our cause.
9. Our cause is sacred. "The ages-old 'God bless America' is playing once more."
10. All who doubt our propaganda, are traitors.

This topic is discussed in more details elsewhere, but a good starting point is the book Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965/1973) by French philosopher, theologian, legal scholar, and sociologist Jacques Ellul. This book was one the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one. It presents a taxonomy for propaganda methods, including such paired opposites as

During World War II, Ellul was a leader in the French resistance after being discharged as a professor from French universities by the Vichy regime. After France's liberation, he became professor at the University of Bordeaux. He authored 58 books and numerous articles over his lifetime, the dominant theme of which has been the threat to human freedom created by modern technology. In 1947, Ellul was appointed chair of law and social history at the Institut d'études politiques that increased his reputation as a social and political philosopher which led to the publication of his works in the United States. Here is an abridged Wikipedia summary:

Background of propaganda attacks against Russia

...."The Institute for Propaganda Analysis, inspired by Harold Lasswell" defined propaganda as "the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations".[3]

This definition seemed more accurate and was supported by others such as Goebbels, a German propagandist, who stated, "We do not talk to say something, but to obtain a certain effect."[ Similarly F.C. Bartlett holds an accurate interpretation of the goal of propaganda as not merely as an instrument to increase political understanding of events, but to obtain results through action. Ellul supports the idea that propaganda is made primarily because of a will to action for the purpose of effectively arming policy made by the State. Leonard Doob, an American specialist, defined propaganda in 1948 as "the attempt to affect the personalities and to control the behavior of individuals towards desired ends."

Unending definitions show the uncertainty among specialists and the inability of definitions to encompass all that is propaganda. Just because the term propaganda cannot be defined with any degree of precision does not mean that attempts to define it should be abandoned.

"Very frequently propaganda is describe as a manipulation for the purpose of changing idea or opinions of making individuals 'believe' some idea or fact, and finally of making them adhere to some doctrine—all matters of the mind. It tries to convince, to bring about a decision, to create a firm adherence to some truth. This is a completely wrong line of thinking: to view propaganda as still being what it was in 1850 is to cling to an obsolete concept of man and of the means to influence him; it is to condemn oneself to understand nothing about propaganda. The aim of modern propaganda is no longer to modify ideas, but to provoke action. It is no longer to change adherence to a doctrine, but to make the individual cling irrationally to a process of action. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief."

...He holds that the main concern of propaganda through psychological influence is sparking action to a desired response by developing learned attitudes. ....

Summary of chapters

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes is divided into five substantive chapters discussing Ellul’s analysis. Introduction

Regardless of the State, propaganda should be viewed as situated at the center of the growing powers of governmental and administrative techniques.

"Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness. Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime (it is that also) than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society. Propaganda stops man from feeling that things in society are oppressive and persuades him to submit with good grace."[7] Chapter One: Characteristics of Propaganda

Modern propaganda is a technique that requires an analysis of both environment and individual to be subjected to propaganda therefore it is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Sufficient understanding of these two areas creates the most effective propaganda and without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda. "Step by step the propagandist builds the techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning, and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology."[8] 1.Part One: External Characteristics

Propaganda is first and foremost concerned with influencing an individual psychologically by creating convictions and compliance through imperceptible techniques that are effective only by continuous repetition. Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.[9] The propagandist also acknowledges the most favorable moment to influence man is when an individual is caught up in the masses. Propaganda must be total in that utilizes all forms of media to draw the individual into the net of propaganda. Propaganda is designed to be continuous within the individual's life by filling the citizen’s entire day. It is based on slow constant impregnation that functions over a long period of time exceeding the individual’s capacities for attention or adaptation and thus his capabilities of resistance. In order for propaganda to maintain encirclement, it must be exerted by an organization capable of influencing psychological channels that reach the individual. Psychological and physical actions are inseparable elements to propaganda, however, if no influence is exerted by an organization than there can be no propaganda because it cannot operate in a vacuum. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses. In general, propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated into an organization.[10] Propaganda should no longer be viewed in terms of an orthodoxy but rather modern propaganda should be seen as an orthopraxy because it aims for participation not adherence. Participation can be active or passive: active if propaganda has been able to mobilize the individual for action; passive if the individual does not act directly but psychologically supports that action. 2. Part Two: Internal Characteristics The second major element that a propagandist must understand is the environment in which the individual operates, mainly the foci of interest of the public. An understanding of the conventional patterns and stereotypes that pre-exist in a milieu provide the propagandist with material from which to build off. Propaganda is not able to create something out of nothing and is confined to developing pre-existing material thereby expressing the fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society.

"The Four Great Collective Sociological Presuppositions in the Modern World: 1.That an individual's aim in life is happiness. 2.That man is naturally good. 3.That history develops in endless progress. 4.That everything is matter.

The Collective Myths: 1.of Work 2.of Happiness 3.of the Nation 4.of Youth 5.of the Hero"[11]

These currents reinforce socieand hold man’s mjor convictions and propa ganda must voice this reality. Propaganda is concerned with timeliness since an individual is only moved to action if he is pushed towards a timely one by propaganda. Once it becomes history it inevitably becomes neutral and indifferent to the individual who is sensitive primarily to current news. "Operational words" are used to penetrate an individual’s indifference. However they lose their value as immediacy passes as old facts are replaced by new ones. The "current events man" is carried along the current of news and caught in the events of today, losing interest in the events of yesterday. The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. Incidentally, there are also the undecided, people whose opinions are vague, who form the majority of citizens within the collective. These citizens are the most susceptible to control of public opinion that is dictated by propaganda. Lastly, this part discusses propaganda and truth or the ability of propaganda to relay something as true based not on the accuracy of facts but of reality. Propaganda veils the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. 3. Part Three: Categories of Propaganda Presented in this chapter is a sophisticated taxonomy for propaganda, including such paired opposites as political-sociological, vertical-horizontal, rational-irrational, and agitation-integration.

Political vs. Sociological Propaganda:

Political Propaganda involves techniques of influence employed by a government, a party, an administration, or a pressure group with the intention of changing the behavior of the public. The themes and objectives of this type of propaganda are of a political nature. The goals are determined by the government, party, administration, or pressure group. The methods of political propaganda are calculated in a precise manner and its main criteria is to disseminate an ideology for the very purpose of making various political acts acceptable to the people.[12] There are two forms of political propaganda, tactical and strategic. Tactical political propaganda seeks to obtain immediate results within a given framework. Strategic political propaganda is not concerned with speed but rather it establishes the general line, the array of arguments, and the staging of campaigns.

Political propaganda reversed is sociological propaganda because the ideology is penetrated by means of its sociological context. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. In sociological propaganda even media that are not controllable such as individual art work, films, and writing reflect the ideology allowing for an accelerated penetration of the masses and the individuals within them.[13]

Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society seeks to integrate the maximum number of individuals into itself by unifying its members’ behavior according to a pattern, spreading its style of life abroad, and thus imposing itself on other groups. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[14] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual’s way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda. From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don’t are bad.[15]

Vertical vs. Horizontal Propaganda: Vertical propaganda is similar to direct propaganda that aims at the individual in the mass and is renewed constantly. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group. It involves meticulous encirclement that traps an individual involuntarily in dialectic. The individual is led unfailingly to its adherence by talking about the dialectic until the individual discovers the answer that was set up unconsciously for him to find. Schools are a primary mechanism for integrating the individual into the way of life.

Rational vs. Irrational Propaganda:

Propaganda is addressed to the individual on the foundation of feelings and passions which are irrational, however, the content of propaganda does address reason and experience when it presents information and furnishes facts making it rational as well. It is important for propaganda to be rational because modern man needs relation to facts. Modern man wants to be convinced that by acting in a certain way he is obeying reason in order to have self justification. The challenge is creating an irrational response on the basis of rational and factual elements by leaving an impression on an individual that remains long after the facts have faded away. Individuals are not compelled to act based facts but rather on emotional pressure, the vision of the future, or the myth.

Agitation vs. Integration propaganda: Propaganda of agitation seeks to mobilize people in order to destroy the established order and/or government. It seeks rebellion by provoking a crisis or unleashing explosive movements during one. It momentarily subverts the habits, customs, and beliefs that were obstacles to making great leap forward by addressing the internal elements in each of us. It eradicates the individual out of his normal framework and then proceeds to plunge him into enthusiasm by suggesting extraordinary goals which nevertheless seem to him completely within reach. However, this enthusiasm can only last a short duration so the objective must be achieved quickly followed by a period of rest. People cannot be kept at in a "state of perpetual enthusiasm and insecurity". Rebellion is incited by the propagandist who knows that hate is one of the most profitable resources when drawn out of an individual. Agitation propaganda is usually thought of as propaganda in that it aims to influence people to act. Integration propaganda, on the other hand, is a more subtle form that aims to reinforce cultural norms. This is sociological in nature because it provides stability to society by supporting the "way of life" and the myths within a culture. It is propaganda of conformity that requires participation in the social body. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner. Basically, agitation propaganda provides the motive force when needed and when not needed integration propaganda provides the context and backdrop. Chapter Two: The Condition for the Existence of Propaganda

The nature of propaganda has changed over the course of time and yet it is evident that propaganda cannot exist without a milieu. The emergence of propaganda is interconnected with technology and scientific discoveries yet it can only appear and grow under certain conditions. Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Modern propaganda could not exist without the mass media or modern means of transportation which permit crowds of diverse individuals from all over to assemble easily and frequently. 1.Part One: The Sociological Conditions

Society must contain elements of both an individualist society and a mass society. Propaganda aims to capture both the mass and the individual at the same time through this dual type of society. A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: it emerged in Western Europe in the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth precisely because that was when society was becoming increasingly individualistic and its organic structures were breaking down. Individuals without natural organic local groups are defenseless and more likely to be caught up in a social current. On the other hand, a mass society has considerable population density in which local structures and organizations are weak, currents of opinion are strongly felt creating a certain psychological unity, and individuals are organized into large and influential collectives. Mass society is characterized by uniformity and material life despite differences of environment. Once a mass society is created, public opinion will begin to play a role to help individuals form their own personal opinion. Public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication without which there could be no propaganda. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form public opinion without any opposition. Again Ellul mentions that the individual must be caught in wide net of media through all channels. Once opinion has been formed, propaganda is able to reinforce it and transform opinion into action. 2. Part Two: Objective Conditions of Total Propaganda Propaganda thrives off of what individuals have in common with others to develop patterns of behavior and modify cultural opinions. Total propaganda recognizes that within a nation individuals should all have in common a standard of living, a culture, and an ideology. The need of an average standard of living is that people must be able to afford to buy a radio, TV, a newspaper, or go to the movies. It is mostly concerned with the densest mass which is made up of average men and not the very rich or very poor. Poor cannot do this therefore they cannot be subjected to integration propaganda because the immediate concerns of daily life absorb all their capacities and efforts. The poor can only be subjected to agitation propaganda, excited to the point of theft and murder. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented. More advanced propaganda can influence only a man who is not completely haunted by poverty, a man who can view things from a certain distance and be reasonably unconcerned about his daily bread, who therefore can take an interest in more general matters.

"For propaganda to be effective the propagandee must have a certain store of ideas and a number of conditioned reflexes that can only be acquired through peace of mind springing from relative security. The establishment of a mode of common life- all this leads to the creation of a type of normal man conveniently leads all men toward that norm via a multitude of paths. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. To sum up: The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes. It can be the result of scientific, psycho-sociological analysis based on statistics- that is the American type of normalcy. It can be ideological and doctrinaire- that is the Communist type. But the results are identical: such normalcy necessarily gives rise to propaganda that can reduce the individual to the pattern most useful to society."[16]

"Information" Is an essential element of propaganda, which must "have reference to political or economic reality" to be credible. In fact, no propaganda can work until the moment when a set of facts has become a problem in the eyes of those who constitute public opinion." Education permits the dissemination of propaganda in that it enables people to consume information. Information is indistinguishable from propaganda in that information is an essential element of propaganda because for propaganda to succeed it must have reference to political or economic reality. Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through "informed opinion". Where no informed opinion with regard to political or economic affairs propaganda cannot exist making it an indispensable aspect. Propaganda means nothing without preliminary information that provides the basis for propaganda, gives propaganda the means to operate, and generates the problems that propaganda exploits by pretending to offer solutions. It is through information that the individual is placed in a social context and learns to understand the reality of his own situation. Information allows us to evaluate our situation feel our own personal problems are a general social problem thus enabling propaganda to entice us into social and political action. Information is most effective when it is objective and broad because it creates a general picture. With information quantity is better than quality, the more political or economic facts believed to be mastered by an individual, the more sensitive their judgment is to propaganda. In fact, only in and through propaganda do the masses have access to political economy, politics, art, or literature. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more an individual participates in that culture, the more susceptible he becomes to the manipulation of these symbols. Chapter Three: The Necessity for Propaganda

All propaganda is based on a need, a dual need, first there is the need of state to make it and second there is the need of propagandee to receive it. These two needs compliment and correspond to each other in the development of propaganda. Propaganda is an expression of modern society as a whole. 1.Part One: The State's Necessity

The State has the need to make propaganda to integrate citizens into its society, to disseminate information, and to increase participation and involvement of members of society. Sometimes the people want to take part in government affairs. However, the official leaders cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. Being that the people in charge cant escape the people , bait must be presented to them. This acts as a disguise that must be there to hide what is really happening behind the scenes in the government . Citizens are aware that political decisions affect everybody and governments cannot govern without the support, presence, pressure, or knowledge of the people. Yet the people are incapable of making long term policy so opinion must be created to follow the government because the government cannot be led by opinion. All of this describes the "Mass-Government" relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as though the government is actually caring about what the people need. The next part that the book discuss is psychological warfare. It is believed to be a peace policy that is used between nations as a form of aggression. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of there regime. 2. Part Two: The Individual’s Necessity The individual needs propaganda to gain satisfaction as a member of society. Individuals want to be informed and to participate in the decisions of the state. Propaganda is the outlet through which individuals obtain the satisfaction of having contributed to the state. It is a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. But for propaganda to succeed it must respond to a need on the individual’s part as well. The individual is by no means just an innocent victim of propaganda when in fact he provokes the psychological action of propaganda by not merely lending himself to it, but also from deriving satisfaction from it. It is strictly a sociological phenomenon, in the sense that it has its roots and reasons in the need of the group that will sustain it. The great role performed by propaganda is in its ability to give the people the involvement they crave or the illusion of it in order for the masses to be artificially satisfied. Individuals are faced with decisions which require a range of information that the individual does not and cannot have without propaganda. Thus, the individual is unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability. People are willing and likely to accept propaganda that allows them to artificially satisfy their desire to have an opinion by hiding their incompetence. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world. The individual would then realize that he "depends on situations of which he has no control" and have to face this reality. The individual cannot live in the state of this harsh reality so he derives satisfaction from the veil created by the ideology and the sense of values it provides. The individual need psychological and ideological reasons why he needs to be where he is and propaganda is the mechanism that the state uses for this very purpose. Chapter Four: Psychological Effects of Propaganda

The psychological effects of propaganda on an individual cannot be ignored. The individual undergoes profound changes while being propagandized mainly the diminishment of personal activity. "Propaganda furnishes objectives, organizes the traits of an individual into a system, and freezes them into a mold by standardizing current ideas, hardening the prevailing stereotypes, and furnishing thought patterns in all areas."[17] The individual is traumatized by the overwhelming force of propaganda that intensifies the prejudices and beliefs until eventually the individual has no control over his own impulses. It seeks to push the individual into the mass until his will fades entirely into that of the mass. Individuality is sacrificed for the greater cause of the nation by uniting him and blending him with others. Critical and personal judgment are subdued and replaced with ready-made attitudes and opinions. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. The individual can no longer exercise his own judgment and becomes honed into what propaganda tells him. He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own. The artificial, impersonal public opinion created by propaganda is absorbed by the individual and he becomes filled with its conviction. When he is fully integrated in the social group and can no longer distinguish between himself and society than he has reached total alienation. In this process, the individual’s personal inclinations lead to participation in the collective where he loses control and submits to external impulses. The individual is suppressed psychologically so that he can continue to live under the conditions in which society places him by providing an artificial and unreal reality that is the result of powerful propaganda. Chapter Five: The Socio-Political Effects

"In the nineteenth century, the problem of opinion formation through the expression of thought was essentially a problem of contacts between the State and the individual, and a problem of acquisition of freedom. But today, thanks to the mass media, the individual finds himself outside the battle that is now between the State and powerful groups. The freedom to express ideas is no longer at stake in this debate but it has been replaced by mastery and domination by the State or some powerful groups over the formation of opinion. The individual is not in the battle because he is the stake and the battle will determine what voice he will be permitted to hear and which words will have the power to obsess him."[18] 1.Part One: Propaganda and Ideology

An ideology provides society certain beliefs and no social group can exist without the foundation of these beliefs. Propaganda is the means by which an ideology can expand without force. An ideology is either fortified within a group or expanded beyond the borders of a group through propaganda. However, propaganda is less and less concerned with spreading the ideology nowadays as it is with becoming autonomous. The ideology is no longer the decisive factor of propaganda that must be obeyed by the propagandist. The propagandist cannot be constrained by the ideology of his State but must operate in service of the state and be able to manipulate the ideology as if it were an object. The ideology merely provides the content for the propagandist to build off since he is limited to what already is present within the group, nation, or society. The fundamental ideologies are nationalism, socialism, communism, and democracy. 2. Part Two: Effects on the Structure of Public Opinion Public opinion is an instrument of propaganda that is disseminated through the mass media of communication to the masses. While most people view the formation of public opinion as being shaped itself by interaction between different viewpoints on controversial questions, this is incorrect because public opinion is delineated by propaganda as a "truth" which is either believed or not believed. Public opinion ceases to be controversial and can no longer form itself except through channels of mass media. No opinion can be held until it is communicated to the masses through mass media. Propaganda uses public opinion to externalize inner opinions of the organization to the masses that eventually produces conformity.[19] 3. Part Three: Propaganda and Grouping In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: the groups that make propaganda and the groups that are subjected to propaganda. In Ellul's view, there is a "double foray on the part of propaganda that proves the excellence of one group and the evilness of another at the same time to create partitioning". This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups. The more they listen to their propaganda the stronger their beliefs and the greater their justifications for their actions. Partitioning takes place on many different levels including class, religious, political, national and blocs of nations. A superior group is able to affect the lesser groups, however, groups that have an equal amount of influence will only separate further from one another in that a members allegiance to a group develops closed mindedness. Well-organized propaganda is able to work with different elements that exist within a nation such as religion, political parties, and labor groups. 4. Part Four: Propaganda and Democracy Since democracy depends on public opinion, it is clear that propaganda must be involved. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. The individual is viewed as the cornerstone of a democracy which is a form of government that is made "for the people and by the people". However, as discussed in early chapters Ellul described the masses are incapable of making long-term foreign policy and the government needs to make these decisions in a timely manner. This is where propaganda comes into play and projects an artificial reality to the masses to satisfy their need to participate in government while the decisions are really made behind the scenes. This was also describe earlier as the "mass-government" relationship. Democratic regimes develop propaganda in line with its myths and prejudices. Propaganda stresses the superiority of a democratic society while intensifying the prejudices between democratic and oppressive.

Major themes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well. Propaganda is not just embedded into the individual's psyche but also the cultural psyche. Propaganda works off the inner characteristics of both the individual and the society that the individual belongs. This thorough analysis made by Ellul illustrates that to downplay the importance of the sociological influences of propaganda to psychological ones is a dreadful error. Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Below are two major themes the first stressing the psychological aims of propaganda the second the sociological aims.

"The Lonely Crowd"

The term "lonely crowd" is used by Ellul to distinguish the two inseparable elements of propaganda, the individual and the masses, which must be addressed by the propagandist at the same time. As an isolated unit, the individual is of no interest to the propagandist unless he is reduced to an average. It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. The individual is included and integrated into the mass because the propagandist profits from the process of diffusion of emotions through the mass, and at the same time, from the pressures felt by an individual when in a group.[20]

In this setting, "the individual caught up in the mass", the individual's reactions are easier to provoke and psychic defenses are weakened. The individual must always be considered as a participant in a mass and similarly the mass must only be viewed as a crowd composed of individuals. When propaganda is addressed to the crowd, it must touch each individual in that crowd which is in fact nothing but assembled individuals. Conversely, the individual should not be viewed as alone as a listener, watcher, or reader because the individual is nevertheless part of an invisible crowd though he is actually alone. The most favorable moment to influence an individual is when he is alone in the mass, the structure of the mass is extremely profitable to the propagandist concerned with being effective.

Fundamental currents in society

"One cannot make just any propaganda any place for anybody."[21] While propaganda is focused on reaching the individual, it cannot only rely on building off what already exists in the individual. Propaganda must also attach itself to the pre-existing fundamental currents of the society it seeks to influence. The propagandist must know the current tendencies and the stereotypes among the public he is trying to reach. These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture. Individuals are part of a culture and are therefore psychologically shaped by that culture. The main task of propaganda is to utilize the conditioned symbols as transmitters of that culture to serve its purpose. Propaganda must be a reflection of the fundamental structures of society to be successful and not contradictory of existing opinions. A skillful propagandist does not try to change mass opinion or go against an accepted structure. Only a bad propagandist would make a direct attack on an established, reasoned, durable opinion, accepted cliché, or fixed pattern. "Each individual harbors a large number of stereotypes and established tendencies; from this arsenal the propagandist must select those easiest to mobilize, those which will give the greatest strength to the action he wants to precipitate."[22]

While propaganda cannot create something out of nothing, it does have the ability to build on the foundation already established. More importantly even though it does not create new material and is confined to what already exists, it is not necessarily powerless. "It can attack from the rear, war own slowly, provide new centers of interest, which cause the neglect of previously acquired positions; it can divert a prejudice; or it can elicit an action contrary to an opinion held by the individual without his being clearly aware of it."[23]

Propaganda can gradually undermine prejudices and images in order to weaken them. These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. Sociological propaganda is a phenomenon where a society tries to unify its members’ behavior according to a pattern. Essentially sociological propaganda is to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. "The entire group, consciously or not, expresses itself in this fashion; and to indicate, secondly that its influence aims much more at an entire style of life."[24] This type of propaganda is not deliberate but springs up spontaneously or unwittingly within a culture or nation. This propaganda reinforces the individual’s way of life and represents this way of life as best.

See also [edit] Brainwashing Conformity Ideology Indoctrination Media manipulation Mind control Propaganda Psychological manipulation Psychological warfare Social Influence Socially constructed reality

British propaganda is especially sophisticated and nasty. See In Foreign Events Coverage The Guardian Presstitutes Slip Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment

Anatomy of US sanctions against Russia

The USA administration, and especially neocons, entrenched in State Department, organized putsch in Kiev with the help of their European satellites. When the civil war started as the result of the putsch the USA introduced sanctions against Russia. See "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place

Tremendous pressure exerted on Russia by the West, largely intended to show the subjects of world politics undesirability of implementing an independent foreign policy. Washington and its satellites in Europe through sanctions are trying to demonstrate their ability to isolate the "offending" countries from the global economy and technical progress by controlling supplies of high technology equipment. However, analysis of the accusations against Russia suggests that both the USA Europe are dominated by neoliberals/neocons who themselves are divorced from the realities of the current processes and looks at the world through the eyes of the early 90th then neoliberalism enjoyed its triumphal march in Eastern Europe and xUSSR space.

After 2008  neoliberalism entered so called zombie stage. It is still very powerful and very dangerous, but ideology of neoliberalism, like ideology of Marxism before is now looks like  perishable goods with expired date of consumption. In no way it is not attractive anymore. Events like enforcing Greece debt slavery by Germany and France only increase the reaction of rejection. 

And that's despite all economic power the USA definitely possesses and success in implementing economic sanctions which drove the Russia GDP growth into negative rages presents huge challenge for the USA. One of the best option the USA elites are pushing is the limited war in Europe that can weaken both EU and Russia. So in a way the putsch in Kiev was anti-EU measure, as Victoria Nuland famous quote suggests.

Sanctions, as damaging  as they are, suggest that the empire lost diplomatic skills. And there is no question that  economic weapons are as close to the act of war as you can get.  See Cold War II. As Patrick Buchanan notes (ecnomicpolicyjournal.com, April 28, 2014):

"Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin's Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world ... and effectively making it a pariah state."

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday's New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this "pariah policy," even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he
was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new "Spirit of Camp David."

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the "Spirit of Glassboro," was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

The sustained expansion of economic sanctions, especially  against the oil and gas sector and specific companies as well as limited access to credit resources indicate the seriousness of the Western establishment to deprive Russia of the economic growth and the ability to protect its own economic interests.



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[Dec 14, 2019] Sore Sports Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington's Geopolitical Game Plan by Robert Bridge

Dec 13, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Once again, Russia is suffering from the tainted judgment of non-transparent Western institutions, this time from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which just banned Russia from all international sporting events. The reason for the arbitrary judgment should surprise no one.

The globalists certainly never banked on Russia rising so fast and furious from the ruins of the Soviet Union to the point where it is now in the position to deter Western intrigues around the world. This was witnessed first and foremost in the miraculously recovering hot-spot of Syria – which, unlike the tragic fate that awaited doomed countries like Ukraine, Iraq and Libya – managed at the 11th hour to escape the jaws of NATO's regime-change juggernaut. Syria's salvation was due overwhelmingly to Russian military and diplomatic intervention.

Moscow's efforts, which could best be described as humanitarian in nature, did not come without a price tag for Russia on the propaganda front. From being wrongly accused of meddling in the 2016 US presidential elections, to being unjustly blamed by a Dutch-led probe for the downing of Flight MH17, it is more than apparent that Russia is under full-scale fake news attack.

❌ No flag
❌ No anthem

Here's what the WADA ban means for Russia ⬇️ https://t.co/HYqkT7nauG

-- RT Sport (@RTSportNews) 9 декабря 2019 г.

This week proved no exception as the West's anti-Russia machine shifted into overdrive as the World Anti-Doping Agency slapped Russia with a ban from all international sporting events – including the 2020 Tokyo Games and the 2022 World Cup – for four years. The reason is exactly the same as it was ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games: the alleged tampering in Moscow of athletes' laboratory drug-test results. Russia has vehemently denied that any manipulations occurred inside of its labs, and vowed to appeal the decision.

Clearly, the motivation here is to humiliate, provoke and punish Moscow by any means available – even on the field of dreams. Any Russian athlete who wishes to challenge the verdict and participate in the upcoming Games will be required to "prove their innocence" first. If they pass that stage and are allowed to compete, they will not be permitted to don the Russian tricolors, nor will the Russian national anthem be played. Russian athletes, who will be branded as 'Olympic Athlete from Russia,' will have to settle for pledging allegiance to the generic Olympic flag as opposed to the Russian national flag. If ever there were a litmus test for a One World globalist government, where athletes play for some singular monolithic entity, this might just be it.

Euro 2020 LOC chief Alexey Sorokin tells RT 'WADA ban will not affect Russian part of Euro 2020'

Says UCL final in St. Peterbsurg unlikely to be moved

Full story on RT Sport https://t.co/FRhwWBHaN9 |

-- Danny Armstrong (@DannyWArmstrong) 10 декабря 2019 г.

Aside from punishing Moscow for scuttling Western designs in Syria and beyond (incidentally, news of WADA's ban came just as Vladimir Putin was sitting down in Paris for the Normandy Four summit with Angela Merkel, Volodymyr Zelensky and Emmanuel Macron in an effort to stabilize the situation in Eastern Ukraine, as well as relations between Moscow and Kiev), the Western capitals have never quite recovered from Russia's flawless handling of the 2018 World Cup , hosted by 11 Russian cities and visited by an estimated 3 million fans from around the world.

Here was a golden opportunity for Russia to prove firsthand that the Western media has been portraying Russia in a completely misleading light for many years. And much to everyone's apparent surprise it worked. In what amounted to a massive PR disaster for the Western world, those millions of visitors took home with them glowingly positive reviews about Russia and the Russian people, thereby flushing many years of Western anti-Russia propaganda down the proverbial toilet.

According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino: "Everyone discovered a beautiful country, a welcoming country that is keen to show the world that everything that has been said before might not be true. A lot of preconceived ideas have been changed because people have seen the true nature of Russia."

Infantino also went on record as calling Russia 2018 "the best World Cup ever."

Needless to say, the Western policymakers would like nothing more than to deny Russia from receiving any further global accolades in the future.

Danny Armstrong, a Moscow-based sports commentator for RT, described the folly of attempting to ban Russia from Euro 2020 next year, where four games are already scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg.

"Would fans, organizers and commentators be banned from stating they are in Russia? We're do you draw the line?

"I think given that this level of scrutiny isn't generally applied to other nations and the cynical calls for heightened stringency from USADA in reaction – who has had more than its fair share of doping scandals – there's more than a whiff of motivation to potentially eliminate a rival," Armstrong said via email.

Just had a very good meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and representatives of Russia. Discussed many items including Trade, Iran, North Korea, INF Treaty, Nuclear Arms Control, and Election Meddling. Look forward to continuing our dialogue in the near future! pic.twitter.com/tHecH9a9ck

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 10 декабря 2019 г.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was meeting with Donald Trump in side of the Oval Office when the WADA decision was made public, couldn't resist taking some cracks at members of Congress who predictably criticized the high-ranking Russian delegation being invited to the White House.

"If [Adam] Schiff can describe the ministerial-level contacts normal to any country and my meeting with the president in such a way, then I believe that they will soon accuse our diplomats, just as they have our athletes, of doping and call for criminal punishment," Lavrov told reporters.

Although it is certainly a positive sign to see one of the highest ranking Kremlin officials respond to these ongoing attacks against Russia in a tongue-in-cheek manner, fully aware of the derangement syndrome that is motivating them, there can be no doubt that such actions against Russia are being viewed in Moscow as passive forms of very real aggression that cannot go unchallenged forever.

In other words, the world should be very wary of the other shoe dropping when that shoe belongs to a nuclear-armed military power whose patience must be wearing very thin.

[Dec 14, 2019] Why Do They Hate Us? by Jacob G. Hornberger

Dec 10, 2019 | www.fff.org

The recent shootings of three U.S. soldiers in Florida at the hands of a Saudi citizen raises a standard question in the U.S. government's perpetual "war on terrorism": "Why do they hate us?"

Soon after the 9/11 attacks, the official mantra began being issued: The terrorists just hate us for our "freedom and values." No other explanation for motive was to be considered. If anyone suggested an alternative motive -- such as "They are retaliating for U.S. governmental killings over there" -- U.S. officials and interventionists would immediately go on the attack, heaping a mountain of calumny on that person, accusing him of treason, hating America, loving the terrorists, and justifying their attacks.

It happened to me and other libertarians who dared to challenge the official motive behind the 9/11 attacks. Shortly after the attacks, I spoke at a freedom conference in Arizona consisting of both libertarians and conservatives. When I pointed out that the attacks were the predictable consequence of a foreign policy that kills people over there, another of the speakers was filled with anger and rage over such an "unpatriotic" suggestion. Then, a few weeks after the 9/11 attacks, FFF published an article by me entitled, " Is This the Wrong Time to Question Foreign Policy? " in which I pointed out the role that U.S. interventionism had played in the attacks. FFF was hit with the most nasty and angry attacks I have ever seen.

Eighteen years later, the evidence is virtually conclusive that the reason that the United States has been suffering a constant, never-ending threat of terrorism is because U.S. military and CIA forces have been killing people in the Middle East and Afghanistan since at least the end of the Cold War, and even before.

After all, if the terrorists hate us for our "freedom and values," why haven't they been attacking the Swiss? They have pretty much the same freedom and values that Americans have. And they are much closer geographically to Middle East terrorists than the United States is. Why haven't the terrorists been attacking them?

The answer is simple: the Swiss government, unlike the U.S. government, hasn't been killing, maiming, and injuring people and hasn't been bombing and destroying countries in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

A long history of U.S. interventionism

U.S. interventions in the Middle East began, of course, long before the 9/11 attacks. There was the 1953 CIA coup that destroyed Iran's experiment with democracy with a coup that replaced the democratically elected prime minister of the country with a tyrannical pro-U.S. dictator. Not surprisingly, that produced the violent Iranian revolution almost 25 years later. The Iranian revolutionaries didn't hate America for its "freedom and values." They hated America for the U.S. government's installation, training, and support of the tyrannical regime against which they revolted.

In the 1980s, there was the sending of U.S. troops into Lebanon as interventionist "peacekeepers." The terrorists ended up blowing up a Marine barracks, killing 241 U.S. soldiers. The terrorists didn't hate America for its "freedom and values." They hated America for the federal government's interventionism into Lebanon. As soon as all U.S. troops were withdrawn from Lebanon, which was the right thing to do, there were obviously no more deaths of U.S. soldiers in that country.

It was after the Pentagon and the CIA lost their official Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union (i.e., Russia), that they proceeded headlong into the Middle East and began killing multitudes of people. There was the Persian Gulf War, waged without the constitutionally required congressional declaration of war, where thousands of Iraqis were killed or injured. That was followed by a decade of brutal sanctions against Iraq, which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children.

Thus, when Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists who tried to bring down the World Trade Center with a bomb in 1993, appeared before a federal judge for sentencing, he angrily told the judge that it was U.S. officials who were the butchers, for killing multitudes of innocent children in Iraq.

As those Iraqi children were dying, there were retaliatory terrorist strikes on the USS Cole and the U.S. embassies in East Africa. Once again, however, U.S. officials continued to steadfastly maintain that was all about hatred for America's "freedom and values" and had nothing to do with the deadly and destructive U.S. interventionism in the Middle East.

Then came Osama bin Laden's declaration of war against the United States, in which he expressly cited U.S. interventionism in the Middle East as his motivating factor. That was followed by the 9/11 attacks, along with other terrorist attacks both here and abroad. Through it all, U.S. officials and interventionists have blindly maintained that the terrorists hate us for our "freedom and values," not because the U.S. government kills, maims, injures, and destroys people over there.

The recent Florida killings

And now we have the latest killing spree, this one at the hands of a Saudi citizen in Florida. According to a story in yesterday's Washington Post about the killing of three U.S. soldiers, the killer, Ahmed Mohammed al-Shamrani was described as "strange" and "angry." "He looked like he was angry at the world," said one person who knew him. Another said that he looked at people in an "angry, challenging" way.

The article says that "the FBI has not yet determined a motive for the mass shooting."

Well, of course it hasn't. That's undoubtedly because the FBI hasn't yet found any statements in which the killer states that he hates America for its "freedom and values."

But the Post article does point out something quite interesting. The article states: "The gunman, who was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy responding to the shooting, is thought to have written a 'will' that was posted to the account a few hours before the rampage. In it, he blasts U.S. policies in Muslim countries."

Well, isn't that interesting! Unfortunately, the Post didn't provide a verbatim transcript of the killer's "will" in which he "blasts U.S. policies in the Muslim countries." The Post does point out though that "the writer says he does not dislike Americans per se -- 'I don't hate you because of your freedoms,' he begins -- but that he hates U.S. policies that he views as anti-Muslim and 'evil.'"

I n an article at antiwar.com entitled, " Pensacola: Blowback Terrorism ," Scott Horton provides a verbatim transcript of the killer's "will," in which the killer states in part:

I'm not against you for just being American, I don't hate you for your freedom, I hate you because every day you supporting, funding, and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity. I am against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil. What I see from America is the supporting of Israel which is invasion of Muslim countrie, I see invasion of many countries by it's troops, I see Guantanamo Bay. I see cruise missiles, cluster bombs and UAV.

Now, if one goes back to Ramzi Yousef's sentencing hearing in 1995 -- some 24 years ago -- one will see that Yousef angrily said much the same thing to the federal judge who was getting ready to sentence him to jail for his 1993 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Americans have a choice:

One, continue the U.S. government's decades-long killing spree in the Middle East, in which case America will continue to experience never-ending terrorist retaliation, the perpetual "war on terrorism, and the ongoing destruction of our liberty and privacy at the hands of our government, which is purportedly protecting us from the terrorist threats that it produces with its foreign interventionism.

Or, two, stop U.S. forces from killing any more people, bring them all home and discharge them, which would help get America back on the right track, one toward liberty, peace, prosperity, morality, normality, and harmony with the world.

This post was written by: Jacob G. Hornberger Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show Freedom Watch . View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context . Send him email .

[Dec 14, 2019] In a 1969 interview, Zahir Shah said that he is "not a capitalist. But I also don't want socialism. I don't want socialism that would bring about the kind of situation [that exists] in Czechoslovakia. I don't want us to become the servants of Russia or China or the servant of any other place

Dec 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

angie11 -> ID3119269 , 10 Dec 2019 16:05

"I wish that people would realize that to interfere, in any way shape or form in wars that occur in Islamic States is pissing into the wind.

We simply cannot and do not understand the religious/tribal and feudal component of these societies.

It is better that we just let them go at each other. Sooner or later one despot will end up being top dog - so be it."

Hmm. Do you know the history of colonialism in MENA? I did not think so.

My guess is that your 'knowledge' of Afghanistan and its history is based on your obvious xenophobia aka Islamophobia and lofty Western superiority complex. Don't feel alone, that's what folks use to make themselves feel better and able to sleep at night. Check this out:

"Despite close relations to the Axis powers, Zahir Shah refused to take sides during World War II and Afghanistan remained one of the few countries in the world to remain neutral. In 1944 and 1945, Afghanistan experienced a series of revolts by various tribes.[13] After the end of the Second World War, Zahir Shah recognised the need for the modernisation of Afghanistan and recruited a number of foreign advisers to assist with the process.[14] During this period Afghanistan's first modern university was founded.[14] During his reign a number of potential advances and reforms were derailed as a result of factionalism and political infighting.[15] He also requested financial aid from both the United States and the Soviet Union, and Afghanistan was one of few countries in the world to receive aid from both the Cold War enemies.[16] In a 1969 interview, Zahir Shah said that he is "not a capitalist. But I also don't want socialism. I don't want socialism that would bring about the kind of situation [that exists] in Czechoslovakia. I don't want us to become the servants of Russia or China or the servant of any other place."[17]

Zahir Shah was able to govern on his own during 1963[9] and despite the factionalism and political infighting a new constitution was introduced during 1964 which made Afghanistan a modern democratic state by introducing free elections, a parliament, civil rights, women's rights and universal suffrage.[14]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Zahir_Shah

[Dec 14, 2019] Nationasm bomb within Russia and how to defuse it

Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

@ Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 13 2019 7:26 utc | 34

We don't need to waste time discussing it: Putin himself publicly said (more than once) that he also would like to have the USSR back.

His scuffle with Lenin lies in the fact of the ethnicities issue.

This debate indeed happened during the very formation of the USSR: Lenin defended each ethnicity of the old Russian Empire should have the right to have their own republic, and, after the fact, they should have the right to freely decide if they want to join the Union or not (many did, others, like Poland and Finland, did not; the Baltic nations were conquered during WWII). Stalin defended the ethnicites shouldn't have any rights to any kind of nation (he even published a book about it).

Putin claims Lenin commited a huge mistake by giving the ethnicities their own republics. He said it caused a lot of problems, some of them still existing today.

I don't doubt Lenin would have preferred to have one single soviet republic without any ethnic distinctions if he could. The problem was that the situation in the Russian Empire was unsustainable. It was a melting pot ready to explode. And he had to win the civil war before he had to think about any political system -- the support of the ethnic minorities being of fundamental importance.

In my opinion, Putin is anachronic by blaming Lenin for the fragmentation of the Russian Empire. First, he has a very idyllic vision of the Empire: its capitalist reforms of the 1860s were a monumental failure, it had just came from a humiliating loss to the Japanese (1905) and the economy had deteriorated to a point it had to constantly crush ethnic revolts in its corners. By 1917, the Russian Empire was still considered a power -- but definitely a second rate one, and falling (even the Japanese were considered a more important empire by that time). The situation was so unsustainable that the Provisory Government of February invited Nicholas II to head it as head of State -- and he refused. The tsardom had simply given up.

Secondly, Putin may be disproportionally influenced by that French sociologist's theory from the 1980s, which stated the USSR would fall through its ethnic divisions -- specially the Muslim populations of its "underbelly". The USSR definitely didn't fall because of its ethnic divisions, although it may have appeared to be the case in the Iron Curtain -- in which Putin served as KGB.

Whatever his reasons, the fact is that the Russian Federation is an objectively worse social experiment than the USSR. It will grow only 1.5% this year. Even Putin's boom of the early 2000s were nothing spectacular, being worse than all the Soviet booms and comparable to Brazil Lula's boom at exactly the same time.

Passer by , Dec 13 2019 12:18 utc | 48

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:03 utc | 47

Actually the IMF estimates that Russia, even under sanctions and low oil prices, will be growing faster than the US and the EU for the next 5 years (2 % vs 1,5 %). Not to mention that it is zero debt economy with triple surpluses - in trade, current account and federal budget. So this is not a small achievment.

[Dec 14, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Highly recommended!
The USA "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine requires weakening and, if possible, partitioning Russia.
Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin tells the audience that Skripals poisoning was a false flag operation. 7:00
He also point several weak points in Western politicians narrative about MH17
Notable quotes:
"... Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America ..."
"... Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it. ..."
"... The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans). ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause". ..."
"... Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic. ..."
"... "Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia.

A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed

Tags: Bob Carr Russia Russiagate Russophobia Tony Kevin Vladimir Putin


Tom Culpeper , December 11, 2019 at 16:03

Putin & the Russian citizenry play chess on this 3-dimensional world.! The Americas and their inane elites attempt checkers on their flat Earth . Pity, some such as Noam Chomsky are admirable world citizens..! Pity again.! WE will miss men of this honest calibre and down- to-earth intelligence. Bob Carr is of this cohort.

Eugenie Basile , December 10, 2019 at 03:36

The 'Russia did it' mantra is a gift for the powers in the Kremlin. It rallies most Russians behind their leaders because they are proud of their country and don't accept the West's moral hypocrite grandstanding.

Just recently the WADA proclaimed sporting ban against Russia is a perfect example. It excludes all Russian athletes because they happen to represent their country while U.S. athletes who have been caught cheating in the past are allowed to participate .

Jerry Alatalo , December 10, 2019 at 00:30

It is very encouraging to know there are good people like Mr. Tony Kevin and Mr. Bob Carr alive and sharing their powerful wisdom at this dangerous historical point on planet Earth. Mr. Kevin and Mr. Carr's immensely important and courageously honest discussion should become – immediately, and for many years to come – required study in university classrooms and government halls around this world.

Peace.

ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

Lois Gagnon , December 9, 2019 at 17:30

I agree. Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't.

SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 13, 2019] Trump2016 vs Trump2020

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Freedom4Wessex , 10 Dec 2019 14:44

And this is where we must listen to the wisdom of Trump..

"As of a couple of months ago, we have spent $7 trillion in the Middle East. Seven trillion dollars. What a mistake. But it is what is," Trump said Monday at a White House meeting on with officials and lawmakers on infrastructure. "We're trying to build roads and bridges and fix bridges that are falling down, and we have a hard time getting the money. It's crazy."

"Think about it: As of a couple of months ago, $7 trillion in the Middle East and the Middle East is far worse now than it was 17 years ago when they went in and not so intelligently, I have to say, went in. I'm being nice.'' 2/13/18 Newsweek

''..when they went in and not so intelligently, I have to say, went in. I'm being nice...''

[Dec 13, 2019] Note of Elliot Higgins and his MI6 funded dirty propaganda underwear selling shop

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Kratoklastes , says: December 12, 2019 at 3:42 am GMT

started by an unemployed Englishman named Eliot Higgins

Good on him – being able to create a thing that rises to such prominence in such a short space of time speaks volumes about this Higgins guy's entrepreneurial ability. And if he wasn't mobbed-up to begin with, he sure as fuck is now – which is a double- mitzvah (for him).

If he did so starting from being unemployed, then anybody who turned down a job application from the guy must be kicking themselves. (' Unemployed ' is obviously used pejoratively in the blockquote; 'Englishman' is purely-descriptive).

.

Also, the entire article accepts Bernays' conclusion, but disagrees as to which objectives should be pursued.

Bernays' conclusions are hardly controversial: most people are gullible imbeciles . It's not clear to me how much more empirical evidence we need before that becomes just a thing that everyone with an IQ above 115 accepts.

So the question then becomes " OK, now what? ".

As usual, the right answer is " Depends " – and not just for those with bladder control problems.

If you want to do things that are just , exploiting gullible imbeciles would appear to violate the playing conditions. It would be hors jeu ; not done; just not cricket .

As the Laconian famously said . " IF ."

For those for whom the 'if' condition returns 'false', it does very little to bleat about how awful they are. You're not going to cause a little switch in their brain to flick on (or off?), whereupon they realise the error of their ways and make a conscious decision to leave the gullible imbeciles unexploited.

It's even unlikely to affect their victims (remember, they're imbeciles) – because otherwise some infra-marginal imbeciles would have to process their way through quite a bit of cognitive dissonance, and they're not wired for introspection (or processing).

So the sole real purpose (apart from κάθαρσις catharsis ) is prophylaxis (προ + φύλαξις – guarding ). Both good enough aims obviously the writer is the one who gets the cathartic benefit, but who is going to be on heightened alert as a result of this Cassandra -ish jeremiad -ing?

Non-imbeciles don't need it; imbeciles won't benefit.

Here's the thing: the gullible imbeciles are going to be exploited by someone .

.

This is something that people of my persuasion struggle with. It boils down to the following:

Let's assume that a reprehensible thing exists already, and is unlikely to be overthrown by my opposition to it. Should I just participate and line my pockets?

The resources used are going to be used whether I participate or not, so it may as well be me who gets them. After all, I will put them to moral uses – and while inside, I can do things that are contrary to the interests of the reprehensible thing.

There is no satisfactory counter-argument to that line of reasoning, and yet I reject it.

Then again: I was dropped on my head as an infant, so YMMV.

[Dec 13, 2019] Chris Hedges presence on Bellingcat award: in view of Bellingcat role in MH 17 false flag operation it became clear that Hedges must be either an idiot or deeply embedded.

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

,

Adrian , says: December 12, 2019 at 6:35 am GMT
@Adrian About Chris Hedges' participation in presenting this award to Bellingcat "News from Underground" came yesterday up with this:

a friend who knows the background of Chris Hedges' involvement writes that "he was duped into presenting the Emmy to Bellingcat -- and, from what I hear, he believes it was done intentionally to smear him."

As this friend is someone I (and many others) quite admire for his integrity and bravery, and as it's wholly plausible that Hedges would have been set up, I am reserving judgementon his action, and urge people on this list to do so, too.

FB , says: Website December 12, 2019 at 6:46 am GMT
@Adrian Hedges would have known who the nominees are just seeing Bellingcat in there and knowing this is the Emmies well, it's hard to believe otherwise than Hedges is a clever fake as I have long suspected

Let's recall that Hedges in his previous life was an NYT war correspondent who covered the Bosnian conflict knowing Yugoslavia quite well from visits there in the 1980s his reports demonizing Serbs stood out like a sore thumb

I quickly pegged him as a complete liar, like the rest of the MSM propagandists that were repeating boilerplate canards meant to demonize the hugely successful nation of Yugoslavia which of course they were trying to tear apart

For instance, 'the Serb-dominated Yugoslavia' was a standard sentence that appeared literally in every single story repeated ad nauseum literallu dozens of times a day and clearly meant to convince the reader that dismantling the progressive and ethnically harmonious nation of Yugoslavia was somehow the right thing to do

But it was pure bullshit anyone who had ever been to Yugoslavia would instantly recognize that as a 'WTF ?'

There is much much more in Hedges' closet

But then, miraculously, he had a 'Road to Damascus' moment a few years later [we are supposed to believe] and somehow became a 'good guy'

Bullshit Mr. Curtin nails the sly method here exactly

[The] bread of truth is essential to conceal untruth.

An excellent article

PS Counterpunch is a complete bullshit rag that has been coopted completely Plutocrat Pierre Omidyar and his little 'Intercept' outfit is similarly continuing in the footsteps of prior plutocrat propagandists like the Ford foundation Rockefellers and others

The ultimate goal is controlling YOU they need you to be obedient and believing and not ask any questions

JoannF , says: December 12, 2019 at 1:48 pm GMT
@FB Haven't looked at Bellingcat (not exactly a sophisticated operation if you ever worked in the ad business) since MH 17 and Putin's Syria pacification, but upon reading this article it became clear that Hedges must be either an idiot or deeply embedded.

One doesn't exclude the other, of course. The uneducated public wouldn't need to catch up on so much information, and still get a great head start if they ever found out wtf "cui bono" even means – but that's not gonna happen.
It's just not how the human mind works.

[Dec 13, 2019] Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Richard Thorton , 10 Dec 2019 15:03

Any particular American war has no purpose, but the USA waging it does. The main points of what war does:

1. Transfers wealth from social services to the military industrial complex. Americans don't have education, infrastructure, or healthcare, but they do have a generation of soldiers with PTSD, national debt, worldwide hatred, and an ever increasing sense of exceptionalism.

2. Traps Americans in a cycle of fear and persecution. Americans don't need a bogeyman, but our corporate overlords do, its how they monetize the populace. Find some disparate population of brown people who want self autonomy, send in the CIA to fuck them up, and when they retaliate tell Americans that people who live in a 3rd world land locked country several thousands of miles away are a threat to their very existence and way of life because they don't like God and Walmart.


CourgetteDream , 10 Dec 2019 14:36

Sadly the US uses the MIC to keep a large chunk of its population under control, as well as providing a convenient coverup of the actual numbers of people who are unemployable or would be unemployed if it were'nt for the taxpayer funding humungous spending in the so-called defence sector, which needs a a constant supply of conflict to keep going. The frankly moronic 'thank you for your service' soundbite drives me insane but it shows how much the American public has been brainwashed.
jimbomatic -> Michael Knoth , 10 Dec 2019 14:36
For years my home state of Washington had a New Deal Democrat Senator named Henry Jackson, AKA the Senator from Boeing.
He did good things for the state & was hugely popular here. One reason being that because he brought the Federal pork back home.
IMO the things Gen. Butler wrote about in the 1920s are still the modus operandi of US foreign policy.
Rikyboy , 10 Dec 2019 14:11
If the Afghanistan war ends, the USA will go to war with someone else. You cannot spend so much on military & not be at war. America must have an enemy. And, don’t forget, they always have “God on our side!”
Mauryan , 10 Dec 2019 13:05
The neocons in power during 2001 were hell bent on taking out Saddam Hussein. When 9/11 happened, they were looking for avenues to blame Iraq so that they could launch the war on that nation. Since things could not be put together, and all evidence pointed to Afghanistan, they took a detour in their war plan with a half hearted approach.

In fact Afghanistan was never the problem - It was Pakistan that held Afghanistan on the string and managed all terror related activities. Everything related to 9/11 and beyond pointed directly at Pakistan. Whatever threat Bush and his cronies projected about Iraq was true in the case of Pakistan. The war was lost when they made Pakistan an ally on the war on terror. It is like allying with Al Capone to crack down on the mafia.

Pakistan bilked the gullible American war planners, protected its assets and deflected all the rage on to the barren lands of Afghanistan. They hid all key Al Qaeda operatives and handed off the ones that did not align with their strategic interests to the US, while getting reward for it. War in Iraq happened in a hurry because the Bush family had scores to settle in Iraq. Pressure was lifted on Afghanistan. This is when the war reached a dead end.

The Taliban knew time was on their hands and waited it out. Obama did understand the situation and tried to put Af-Pak together and tightened the grip on Pakistan. He got the troops out of Iraq. Pakistan is almost bankrupt now for its deep investment on terror infrastructure. The US has drained billions of dollars and lives in Afghanistan due to misdirected goals. I am surprised Bush and Cheney have not been sent to jail on lies to launch the Iraq war and botching the real war on terror.

[Dec 13, 2019] Lindsey Graham, Mattis, and Tillerson all opposed the withdrawal from Afghanistan and spoke to Trump in person about it. They all just kept saying that we needed troops in Afghanistan "to prevent the next 9/11."

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Redswordfish , 10 Dec 2019 15:05

I read Bob Woodward's book, "FEAR: Trump in the White House" which has a section talking about a time when Trump wanted to withdraw a substantial number of troops from Afghanistan. Lindsey Graham, Mattis, and Tillerson all opposed the withdrawl and spoke to him in person about it. They all just kept saying that we needed troops in Afghanistan "to prevent the next 9/11." Lindsey Graham was especially forceful about this. "If you withdraw those troops, then you're responsible for the next 9/11" he says [paraphrase].

This is the only section of the book where I actually found myself agreeing with Trump. How exactly does keeping troops in Afghanistan "prevent the next 9/11"? It seems like a bizarre non sequitur.

GalahadThreepwood , 10 Dec 2019 12:37
And this is a surprise because? There is a revolving door between Washington D.C. and defence contractors. When you have a multi trillion dollar industry making stuff that goes bang, the customers will want to use it. And the more the industry can encourage them to use it, the more money they make. Better still, when they have finished blowing a foreign country to hell, their friends in the civil engineering and construction companies can make more trillions rebuilding it all.

And if you then claim victory and withdraw enough of your troops, the incumbent Neanderthals can start slaughtering their own people all over again, giving the perfect excuse to go back in and blow it all to hell again.

With careful planning, you can maintain the cycle of profits for decades, if not centuries.

Next week - bears implicated in forest defecation scandal.

[Dec 13, 2019] Savages, indeed. Zero accountability and Britain still playing faithful lap dog.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

cephalus , 10 Dec 2019 12:11

The US lied about the Gulf of Tonkin in order to justify attacking North Vietnam, it then proceeded to lie about the conduct of the war and the terrible genocide it was committing. No lesson learned because in a heartbeat the US was lying about Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Nicaragua and El Salvador, committing a wide range of atrocities in each.

Add Somalia, Libya, proxy wars in Angola and Yemen, efforts to destabilize Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, illegal wars in the Lebanon and Syria, the annihilation of Afghanistan in retaliation for what was actually a Saudi terrorist act, the destruction of modern Iraq and her people using trumped up claims, to say nothing of Clinton's cheery disregard for the welfare of Balkan residents when the US rained (illegal) uranium bombs down on the hapless inhabitants.

And now the WP and Congress are worked up over spending a trillion dollars when plainly they could care less about the Afghan casualties and American war crimes. Heck this goes back to Theodore Roosevelt seizing Cuba claiming he was saving it from the ravages of Spain or even further back to government backed settler land grabs "saving their white women from the savages". Savages, indeed. Zero accountability and Britain still playing faithful lap dog.

Irascible45 , 10 Dec 2019 12:08
My take on this is that the American Department of Defense war machine remained in a state of perpetual excitement after their successes in WW11.. almost as if they had to continuously invent an enemy in order to maintain their war time budget.. (and therefore demonstrate their ongoing prowess etc etc) in a cycle of wars starting with Korea and bringing us up to date with Afghanistan.. so that's nearly 70 years worth of international hubris on display.


All on the excuse of spreading their version of democracy.. is money talks!!

UnrepentantPunk -> NadaZero , 10 Dec 2019 11:57

It wasn't a mistake. It was a deliberate decision from a bunch of warmongers

The last patriotic Republican, President Dwight D Eisenhower, warned US against the military-industrial complex in his farewell address .

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

DoctorWibble , 10 Dec 2019 11:55
That both the Afghan war and the invasion of Iraq could happen at all tells us that the UN Security Council is not fit for purpose. These wars also told us that British pretense at being the voice of reason or the steadying hand that prevents US foreign policy being subsumed by the visceral and synthesised reactions of a US public is no more than empty cant.

If the US is unable to prevent foreign and defence policy being captured by money interests and remains inclined to deliver revenge to its public on demand howsoever it might be misdirected then the US should not be on the UN Security Council at all. They are fast becoming the number one major rogue state. And the outlook suggests this is more likely to get worse than improve. Whatever happens to Trump One more (and likely smarter) Trumps are coming down the track. More Dick Cheneys too. More Bushes, more Rumsfelds, more Nixons, Boltons, Kissingers, Johnsons and a host of others we'd all much rather were one offs. The US is the biggest extant threat to world peace. It is too powerful and far too easily played by warmongers and terrorists of every stripe and every persuasion. And by those seeking to profit from war.

BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2019 11:54
To call war profiteering and murder a geopolitical "mistake" is to EXCUSE criminal activity.

Anyone responding to this latest revelation of military dishonest as a "mistake" is actually part of the crime. They are aiding the abettors. Everyone in Congress knows what everyone in this comments section knows: our military and its global actions are, first and foremost, a financial fraud.

thedisciple516 -> sijacks , 10 Dec 2019 11:50
But not American oil companies which were basically shut out outside of a few minor service and procurement contracts. Looks like all the "Blood for Oil" poster were BS.

The Iraq War was only partly, however, about big profits for Anglo-American oil conglomerates - that would be a bonus (one which in the end has failed to materialise - not for want of trying though).

- Nafeez Ahmen Guardian 2014

thedisciple516 -> Boltedhorse01 , 10 Dec 2019 11:42
Yes, and it made no conclusion as to whether the war was legal or not.

" The inquiry did not reach a view on the legality of the war , saying this could only be assessed by a "properly constituted and internationally recognised court", but did make a damning assessment of how the decision was made."

- Guardian 2016

Cronus Titan , 10 Dec 2019 11:40
Just think - the USA spends more on its military then the combined amount of the next 10 nations in the list (incl. China/Russia/India). That is a major major spend commitment. A small percentage of that could be used for US citizens to fund their healthcare - but I suppose they prefer to spend it to threaten and bomb other nations to their will.

Just to think - a similar report was produced post Vietnam and in the 50's even Eisenhower was worried about the US military backed by private companies becoming a perpetual spending machine.

capatriot , 10 Dec 2019 11:39

But there's one big question the Post report raises but does not address: why? Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

Because "how the war is going" is not the operating question. Because it does not matter if the war is just or unjust, whether it's winnable or not winnable, nor whether it's supported in the "homeland" or not. No, the operating principle is that there is a war. By its existence, the war creates funding and jobs and profits for the people that matter, the people the author mentions, from the Security/Military complex corporations all the way to careerists in the Pentagon and State.

So, it is NOT a waste of $1 trillion dollars ... it is just as it was supposed to be. That is why the war president (W), the peace president (Obama), and the swamp drainer (Trump) have all supported it. The war is doing what it's supposed to do.

GraphiteCommando , 10 Dec 2019 11:36
In time, the US national debt will force them to rein in their military spending. By lowering taxes while continuing to spend like drunken sailors on military adventures the national debt is ballooning. US government debt is currently rated AA whereas Canada is AAA. US debt to GDP is significantly higher than Canada's. (and that's just Canada vs the US). Trump is trying to create a mafia style protection racket to force other countries to subsidize reckless US military spending. "Pay up or who knows what might happen?" It is high time US taxpayers ask why the US can't lower its' out of control military spending rather than pressuring others to match their profligate ways? Some US citizens say they pay low taxes but it seems they get nothing in return; no health care, no equal access to education, decaying public infrastructure, etc. The rest feel overtaxed when they realize they get nothing in return but don't question the elephant in the room. If other countries maintain responsible levels of military spending the US will dig itself deeper into debt until the debt markets force them to see sense.
DenryMachin , 10 Dec 2019 11:22
Military spending is a fine way to transfer wealth from the general population to the rich. War has always been a fabulous business opportunity, but what has never been so very clear is how, even for the winning side, it represents a major defeat as wealth is transferred from the common good into the hands of the rich.

In such matters always consider 'Who will prosper'.
Follow the money...

kropotkinsf , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Considering the United States has been involved in one war or another, directly or indirectly, for all but about 20 years of its existence, this latest revelation shouldn't shock anyone. We're a violent country with a violent history and never more so than now, with our built-on-conflict empire losing steam. We point fingers ("It's the Russians!" "It's the Chinese!" It's the Iranians!") to deceive ourselves and others, but we're the real threat to peace. Us. The United States.
CTanner52 , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Every time I see a person on the street nobly collecting 50ps or the odd fiver for a good cause like Cancer Research or some other charity, I wonder why they have to do this when the US has spent over a USD$1 trillion on the Afghan war and other militaries continue to soak up massive amounts of funding. How much more could we have achieved by now for the real good of humanity if these funds were focused on research and real human need?
damientrollope , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
Te US military has been practicing genocide around the world since WW2, millions have been murdered and still are. But hey, they are the leaders of the free world, the corruption in the US government, corporations, and military has no bounds. Their own poorer members of this society are dying in their thousands for lack of medical care, innocent black people are murdered by police, yet the greed must go on nothing else matters. The only question now being, which country will they invade next, which government will they plot to overthrow. How many will be murdered in the process, not that it matters, greed cannot be measured in dead people.
BaronVonAmericano , 10 Dec 2019 11:09
For crying out loud, it was never a mistake.

World peace and the safety of the American public has never been a priority. Entirely the opposite. Standard procedure: foment fear to wage immoral, endless, profitable war.

This isn't conjecture or "conspiracy theory"; it's as obvious as the sun rising. Anyone casting this in any other way is either behind the curve or dangerously soft pedaling -- or lying to stave off actual accountability.

Please stop pretending that our "leaders" are mistaken. They aren't They're doing the jobs for which they were paid.

manoftheworld , 10 Dec 2019 11:00
It's worse even than a crime... it's insanity to keep excusing a failed 18 year strategy costing a trillion dollars, resulting in the death of more than 100,000, and the country ending up worse than when they started. The military, politicians and the media are all to blame. The military for being too frightened and too stupid to admit they were losing and had no idea how to correct it.. the politicians for being too frightened to call out their beloved but incompetent military, and for not "getting it" after more than a trillion dollars had already been spent; the press and media for being embedded (sometimes literally) with the military and acting as no more than unquestioning cheerleaders for a self-evidently failed strategy. It is a terrible indictment of the US on so many levels... where were the public anti-war protests or activists? Couldn't they see or didn't they care? Either way it's pathetic.

Almost every year US generals stood before the media and politicians, jutting jaws and feeble minds, to say that this year was going to be decisive against the Taliban. The fact is, after Al Qaeda was scattered in 2001, the US picked on the Taliban pointlessly. They stayed pretending they were engaged in countering the return of al Qaeda (that was never going to happen) but actually made a new enemy of the Taliban by picking the wrong side in what was a civil war. The US never understood what it was trying to do so it lied and lied out of fear of being found out. I find it sickening that this country -the US - pretends it is a force for good in the world when they are quite prepared to keep killing innocent people in order to mask the generals' cowardice about facing the truth of their own incompetence.

tenientesnafu , 10 Dec 2019 10:55
A terrible but interesting dichotomy. You have Governments and a broad part of the public fiercely opposed to public spending and any kind of redistribution. It is all about the individual.

Yet they sport and actually worship an institution where the individual counts for naught. In the military it always is about the collective. They throw huge swaths of money to the military. Which is the only place in the US where dreaded universal healthcare, pensions and free education exists. Not only that, even the army shops sell goods as subsidised prices, something unthinkable outside the barracks.

lalaeuro -> GeraldLobOn , 10 Dec 2019 10:53
Entirely intentional according the PNAC document Rebuilding America's Defences, Orwellian for we're going to make a lot of pointless weapons with huge mark-ups for profit by bombing the shit out of foreigners.
kapsiolaaaaa , 10 Dec 2019 10:37
I was listening to NPR about how Veterans turned against the Vietnam war. The people of south Vietnam would collect shells and explosives that did not detonate and gave to US troops for a small financial reward. In one such case - the shell exploded killing few kids and injuring a girl. That girl was refused treatment from US medics because she was one of them. That soldier involved later joined the anti war movement.
All the veterans were surprised with the image that soldiers coming back from war were spat at and disrespected by the anti war protesters - this could not have been further from truth.

Back in Vietnam you were taught how to destroy a village, poison drinking water sources etc. And understandably many GIs fought back.

There are similar stories out of Afghanistan - the naked prisoners with soldiers acting as if they are engaging in a sexual act and many such shameless incidents. These soldiers were acquitted which is another way of saying - An Afghan and his life and honor are below us. It has de-stabilized the region for many decades.

There is a bright side to Donny and his conmen - maybe there will be less intervention and more introspection - which can only be good for the World.

[Dec 13, 2019] The process of waging war is lucrative - positive outcomes (gas and oil) are a bonus.

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

NickStanford , 10 Dec 2019 12:24

I think it should have been seen as a thirty year campaign and the same with Iraq and Libya. The northern Ireland campaign took 30 years and many people are as bitter as they ever were much of it secondhand from younger people who weren't even alive during the conflict. The idea of a quick war is a very big mistake I think and flawed short-term thinking.
Piet Pompies -> MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:24
Most decorated Marine officer ever? I thought that was Chesty Puller?
sammer -> tenientesnafu , 10 Dec 2019 12:24
That was very well put. Thank you for being so succinct.
easterman -> MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:23
The process of waging war is lucrative - positive outcomes (gas and oil) are a bonus.
MyViewsOnThis , 10 Dec 2019 12:22
The West and the USA in particular have always taken the stand that their ideology is the only right one. That they have a right to interfere in the interns, affairs of other countries but their own internal affairs are sacrosanct.

So - USA, with UK support decided that Saddam Hussein had to be removed. They moved in to do so - they killed Saddam but had no plan to return the country to a functioning nation. Instead they facilitated the unleashing of internal wars and have now left the citizens of that country in utter turmoil.

& then went and repeated the exercise n Libya.

Decades ago, Britain decided that Palestinians could be thrown out of their homes to make way for the creation of Israel and laid the foundation for the Middle-East turmoil that has caused untold misery and suffering. They followed that up with throwing out the Chagosians out of their homes and making them homeless. Invited Caribbean's to the 'Mother Country' to serve their erstwhile lords, ladies, masters and mistresses only to then drive to despair the children and grandchildren of the invitees who had contributed to the 'Mother Country' for decades.

easterman , 10 Dec 2019 12:21
Lest we forget Cheney salivating over the gas in the Caspian Basin http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/west_asia/37021.stm
Piet Pompies -> cephalus , 10 Dec 2019 12:19
Yep, biggest terrorist state in the world, ever.
KoreyD , 10 Dec 2019 12:19
We are 18 years into an illegal invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. We are the invaders, the terrorists. The Taliban are fighting for their country, they may use brutal methods but so did the French, Dutch, Russian freedom fighters during the Nazi invasions. America's puppet regime in Afghanistan is reminiscent of the Quislings of WW2. And to use drones to kill Afghans and to say it is progress that there is more transparency is the height of hubris. All it does is show the corrosive effect of unfettered power in America and it's military. Why do we tolerate this inhuman action on another country's society? America is by far the greatest contributor to the rise in terrorism in the world and if not somehow stopped the greatest threat to world peace. It keeps on invading country after country with it's MSM propaganda machine claiming it is spreading Democracy throughout the globe. Thank you America !

[Dec 13, 2019] On Rogues and Rogue States by Fred Reed

Dec 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Guide to the Supervision of... Blogview Fred Reed Archive Blogview Fred Reed Archive On Rogues and Rogue States Old, New, and Improved Fred Reed December 10, 2019 1,600 Words 76 Comments Reply Listen ॥ ■ ► RSS

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I have just finished reading William Shirer's Berlin Diary . (This may not fascinate you, but I am coming to something.) I first encountered it in high school. It is of course Shirer's account as a correspondent in Germany of the rise of the Nazis. Most of it is well known to the educated. The Nazis, who had control over the domestic press, convinced the German population that the Poles were threatening Germany, as plausible as Guatemala threatening the United States. The Poles were said to be committing atrocities against Germans.

Then the Reich, with no justification whatever, having absolute air superiority, attacked Poland, bombing undefended cities and killing huge numbers of people. It was a German pattern several times repeated. Many reporters told of the smell of rotting bodies, of refugees dying of hunger and thirst. Today the Reich is endlessly remembered as a paragon of evil. It was.

How did Nazi Germany differ from the United States today? There is the same lying. Washington insisted that Iraq was about to get nuclear weapons, biological agents, that it had poisonous gas. None of this was true. The government, unimpeded by the media, persuaded over half of the American population that Iraq was responsible for Nine-Eleven. Now it says that Iran works to get nuclear weapons, and of course that the Russians are coming. The American press, informally but strictly controlled, carefully doesn't challenge any of this.

Having prepped the American public as the Nazis prepped theirs, Washington unleashed a savage attack against Iraq, deliberately destroying infrastructure, leaving the country without power or purified water. The slaughter was godawful. But, said America, the war was to rid the Iraqi people of an evil dictator, to bring them democracy, freedom, and human rights. (The oil was entirely incidental. The oil is always incidental.)

Fallujah, Iraq, after the American military brought it democracy, human rights, and freedom. Guernica, after the visit of the Kondor Legion. For the historically challenged, this was the Spanish city bombed during the Spánish Civil War by the Germans in support of the Falangists.

Washington never sleeps in its campaigns to improve the lives of people whose most fervent wish is that America stop improving their lives. To give the Afghans democracy, human rights, and American values, the US has for eighteen years been bombing, bombing, bombing a largely illiterate population in a nation where America has no business. It is a coward's war with warplanes butchering peasants who have no defenses. The pilots and drone operators who do this deserve contempt, as does the country that sends them. How many more years? For what purpose? And how were the German Nazis different?

The German Gestapo perpetrated sickening torture in hidden basements. America does the same, mainltaining torture prisons around the world. In these, men, and no doubt women, are hung by their wrists for days, naked in very cold rooms, kept awake and periodically beaten (exactly as described by survivors of Soviet torture. Nazis, whether American, Russian, or German, are Nazis.)

Photos of Iraqis at the American torture operation at Abu Ghraib showed prisoners, almost naked, lying in pools of blood. Tell me, please, how this differs from what was done by the Reich? (The bloodier photos are no longer online. Many that remain seem to have been edited.)

Abu Ghraib. A happy American girl soldier. Note rubber gloves. The US military used many female soldiers for this duty. They apparently were kinky, as they seemed to get a kick out of it. A female general ran the operation.

Gina Haspel, head of the CIA, is a sadist who tortured Moslem prisoners, reminiscent of Ilse Koch, the notorious Nazi torturess, who also worked in prisons. It is easy to find victims there, I suppose.

An Abu Ghraib pic apparently no longer online. I found it on an ancient memory stick. Are we having fun yet?

President Trump has just pardoned several American war criminals, saying he wanted to give US soldiers the "confidence to fight." This amounts to blanket permission to commit atrocities. A purpose of military training being to extirpate human decency and mercifulness, the obscene barbarism is not surprising. Atrocities are what soldiers do, and will do as long as the wars go on, being furiously denied by the government. (When I covered Force Recon, the Marine Corps Special Forces, the motto on the wall was "Crush Their Skulls and Eat Their Faces.")

Perhaps the best known example of implied approval was Nixon's pardon of Lt. Calley, who ordered the murder of Vietnamese villagers, for which he received three years of house arrest.

The Germans wanted empire, lebensraum, and resources, in particular oil. Americans want empire and oil, control of which allows control of the world They go about getting them by invasion and intimidation. Thus America wants to bring democracy and human rights to Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, and Nigeria, which have lots of oil, while it has occupation troops in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere in the Mideast. What part of Syria is Trump occupying? Surprise, surprise! The part with the oil. Oil for the Americans, land for the Germans.

As Shirer points out, the German public was not enthusiastic about the war, at least not through 1940, as neither is the American public today. Neither public showed any concern about the hideousness its government inflicted around the world. What is the difference?

The parallels with the Reich are not complete. Washington does not essay genocide against Jews or blacks or any other internal population, being content with killing whoever its bombs fall upon. Trump cannot reasonably be likened to Hitler. He lacks the vision, the backbone, and apparently the viciousness. Hitler was a very smart, very evil man who knew exactly what he was doing, at least politically. This cannot be said of Trump. However, Hitler was, and Trump is, surrounded by freak-show curiosities of great bellicosity. Adolf had Goering, Goebbels, Himler, Rheinhardt Heydrich, Julius Streicher, Eichman. Trump has John Bolton, as amoral and pathologically aggressive as any in the Fuehrer's entourage, or under a log. Pompeo, a bloated toad of a man, bears an uncanny resemblance to Goering. Both he and Pence are Christian heretics, Evangelicals, who believe they are connected to God on broadband. O'Brien sounds like Bolton. All want war with Iran and perhaps with China and Russia. Sieg heil, and run like hell.

My Lai, after Lt. Calley of the SS Totenkopf Div excuse me, the Americal Division, I meant to say, brought human rights, freedom, and the American way.

Wikipedia: "Between 347 and 504 unarmed people were killed by U.S. Army soldiers Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated as were children as young as 12.")

For this Calley got three years house arrest, less than the sentence for a bag of methamphetamine, until pardoned by Nixon. Many Americans said, and many still say, that he should not have been punished at all, that we needed to take the gloves off, let the troops fight. Again, this is what Trump said.

The German Nazis worshiped Blood and Soil, the land of Germany and the Teutonic race, which they believed to be genetically superior to all others. Americans can't easily worship race. Instead they think themselves Exceptional, Indispensable, a Shining City on a Hill, the greatest civilization the world has known. Same narcissism and arrogance, slightly different foundation.

Nazi Germany was, like Nazi America, intensely militaristic. The US has hundreds of bases around the world (China has one overseas base, in Djibouti), spends appallingly on the military despite the lack of a credible military enemy. It currently buys new missile submarines (the Columbia class), aircraft carriers (the Ford class), intercontinental nuclear bombers (the B21), and fighter planes (the F-35).

Nazi Germany attacked Poland, Norway, Belgium, France, Russia, America, and England. America? Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, supports a brutal proxy war against Yemen (Yemen is a grave threat to America), threatens Venezuela, China, and Iran with attack, embargoes Cuba. These are recent. Going back a bit, we have Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, the intervention in Panama, on and on. Millions and millions killed.

The Third Reich was, and America is, the chief threat to peace on the planet, a truly rogue state.

Is this something to be proud of?

Other stuff

La FIL, Feria Internacional de Libros , International Book Fair, Guadalajara, an annual event. I post the photo with the joyous sense of mischief of an eleven-year-old poking a nest of wasps. It will infuriate the Dissident Right, or Alt Right, or Race Realists. Their leaders excepted, most of these are ill-tempered naifs who insist, and seem to hope desperately, that Latin Americans are illiterate. I occasionally have conservative friends down and they are astonished to find that Guadalajara, a large international city, has the sorts of bookstores had by large international cities. Duh. (If interested, here are a couple of dozen.)

Another and cherished conceit of the Dissident Right is that Latin Americans who can read must be white. Well, I guess. Why, you could easily mistake the crowd above for Norwegians. Their ancestors probably arrived with Leif Erikson.

Merry Christmas to all! Happy "Winter Holidays" to none.

Write Fred at jet.possum@gmail.com . Put the letters "pdq" anywhere in the subject line to avoid autodeletion. All read, reply not guaranteed due to volume.

This meritorious and beneficial column will go into hibernation until after New Year, after which it will likely return.

[Dec 13, 2019] It's almost a century since Smedley Butler wrote his incisive pamphlet War is a Racket

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

MrMopp , 10 Dec 2019 12:18

It's almost a century since Smedley Butler wrote his incisive pamphlet War is a Racket.

If you've never read it, it takes about 15-20 minutes to do so. It will astound, anger and depress you that the only thing that's changed is the number or zeroes on the eye waterering profits. Oh, and the players. What is it exactly that makes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia untouchable? (Answers on a postcard C/O Beelzebub.)

Smedley Butler knew of what he lectured about, being the most decorated officer in the history of the Marine Corps.

A brief insight into this insightful all American action man man Hollywood seems to have overlooked:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

"I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street.

"The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

"During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

There's been a century of endless war and profits since then with this century shaping up nicely for the racketeers, whose finest day might well have been September 11th, 2001.

Anyway, here's a link to a pdf file of War is a Racket if you're interested.

https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake. It's a travesty Ben Armbruster Opinion The Guardian

Dec 13, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

he American people have known that the war in Afghanistan was a lost cause for quite some time. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans' views of the war started to go south right around the end of 2011, until eventually a majority started seeing the writing on the wall about two years later.

That's why the Washington Post report this week on the so-called "Afghanistan Papers", detailing how US officials "deliberately mislead the public" on the war's progress, is almost sort of unremarkable. If the piece took away any shred of innocence left from this ghastly enterprise, it's that perhaps some of us thought our leaders, while failing miserably at building a nation thousands of miles away, were at least acting in good faith.

At the same time, the Post report is rage inducing, not just because of the sheer stupidity of American leaders continuing to fight a war they knew they could not win, but also how their unwillingness to take responsibility for a failed policy caused so much death, destruction and heartbreak, particularly among those American families who have admirably dedicated their lives to serving their country, and the countless number of Afghan civilians trapped in a cycle of endless war they have nothing to do with.

Of course, the "Afghanistan Papers" immediately recalled memories of the Pentagon variety leaked to the New York Times nearly a half century ago because they too were government documents outlining how numerous American administrations had lied to the public about Vietnam – another long, costly and unnecessary war with no military solution.

But there's one major difference: the war in Afghanistan doesn't have as direct an impact on the lives of everyday Americans as the Vietnam war did, when the military draft meant that everyone had to deal with the cold war proxy conflict in south-east Asia one way or another . Therefore, it's entirely possible, likely even, that this major and important report from the Post will drift into the wilderness just like the dozens of Trump-era stories that would have, for example , taken down any other US president in "normal times".

But there's one big question the Post report raises but does not address: why? Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

The easy answer is that there's a long tradition in Washington, particularly among the foreign policy establishment, that self-reflection, taking responsibility and admitting failure is a big no-no. Heck, you can get convicted of lying to Congress about illegal arms sales, and cover up brutal atrocities and still get a job at the state department . Did you torture anyone? No problem .

While DC's culture of no culpability certainly plays a role in this case, the more compelling answer lies somewhere near the fact that once the American war machine kicks into gear, no amount of facts undermining its very existence is going to get in the way.

Indeed, the United States has so far doled out nearly one trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan (the true cost of the war will be trillions more ) and everyone's on the take: from defense industry executives, lobbyists and US political campaign coffers to Afghan government officials and poppy farmers to anyone and anything in between.

What's more is that this military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability, so what's the incentive to change course? The Pentagon's entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison.

The bottom line is that the Afghanistan Papers clearly show that a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn't want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along. If we don't start holding these people to account – and it's not just about Afghanistan – the DC foreign policy establishment will continue to act with impunity, meaning that it's probably more likely than not that in 50 years there'll be another batch of "papers" revealing once again that we've failed to learn obvious lessons from the past.

Ben Armbruster is the managing editor of ResponsibleStatecraft.org , the news and analysis publishing platform of the Quincy Institute

[Dec 13, 2019] The Afghan war is 18 years old now. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place

Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Chiropolos , 10 Dec 2019 15:56

This war is 18 years old. It's no longer a minor in the eyes of the law. It's old enough to think for itself, to vote, to move out of the house and get it's own place. Afghanistan will figure it out. Once we withdraw to allow Afghanistan to return to self-governance.

[Dec 13, 2019] Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about the wars the USA is engaged?

Notable quotes:
"... This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

yemrajesh , 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land.

The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away. This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

sorrymess , 10 Dec 2019 15:00

i been to Cambodia a few years ago.

I never knew USA dropped 2.7 millions tons of bombs and now so many left unexploded and its same in Vietnam, Cambodia as neutral,
but i met so many injured kids etc from the bombs,.

the total MADNESS OF USA IS NAZI SM AT ITS BEST,.NO SHAME OR COMPASSION FOR THE VICTIMS.

I cannot comprehend the money it cost USA,. AN ALSO PROFITS FOR SOME,.

Heisham , 10 Dec 2019 14:10
With the exceptions of two attacks on American soil-Pearl Harbor and 911- the American people and for the most part their legislative representatives in Congress- will always remain cluless what the United States Government does overseas.

This country runs on its own drum beats. The ordinary man on the street needs to take care of his economic needs. The Big Boys always take care of themselves. That includes the military establishment, that is always entitled to an absurd amounts of monies, fueled by an empire building machinery, pushed by the elites that control the fate of economic might, and political orchestra that feeds its ego and prestige.
Time and again, our American sociopaths in power have a strangle hold on us, regardless of the destruction and animosity they heap on distant peoples and lands the world over in the name of national security and the democratic spiel, as they like to tell us ....
Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson- Vietnam and the South East Asian countries of Laos , Cambodia, are an example .
Years later, the establishment manufactures blatant cover-ups with lies upon lies to accuse on record, as general Powell eloquently presented at the United Nations: That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be held accountable.And now, this report on Afghanistan with all this pathological violence.

Is it reasonable to conclude that our democracy and its pathological actors in government and big business will always purchase it by demagoguery and self vested interest, because the ordinary man whose vote should count will never have the ultimate say when it comes to war and destruction!

[Dec 13, 2019] The Inspector General's Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... a single American ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | theintercept.com
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.

[Dec 12, 2019] Paul Singer Funded Washington Free Beacon Behind Initial Fusion GPS Trump Effort by Adam Shaw

Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Examiner first reported Friday that lawyers for the Free Beacon -- a conservative outlet based in the nation's capital -- funded the project from fall 2015 to spring 2016, when it pulled its funding as Trump looked set to clinch the nomination. ..."
"... Washington Free Beacon ..."
"... After the Democrats took over funding of the operation in mid-2016, Fusion GPS would hire former British spy Christopher Steele and would lead to the production of the so-called "Trump dossier," filled with salacious but unconfirmed claims about how Trump was compromised by the Russians. ..."
"... The Free Beacon noted in its statement that it had "no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele." ..."
"... The Free Beacon is funded in large part by the New York hedge fund billionaire and major GOP donor Paul Singer. The New York Times reports that Singer initially supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the Republican nomination, but later spearheaded a campaign to deny Trump the nomination even after Rubio dropped out of the race. ..."
"... While supporting Republican establishment favorites such as Rubio and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Singer was a major backer of Common Core and was the founder of a super-PAC that has the express purpose of turning the GOP pro-gay marriage. ..."
"... Kristol is also the founder of the Weekly Standard, which like the Free Beacon has a neoconservative foreign policy outlook. The Free Beacon was co-founded by two former Weekly Standard writers, chairman Michael Goldfarb and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti. ..."
Oct 27, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

The Washington Free Beacon, funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, was the original funder of Fusion GPS' research project that attempted to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump -- a project that would later be funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The Washington Examiner first reported Friday that lawyers for the Free Beacon -- a conservative outlet based in the nation's capital -- funded the project from fall 2015 to spring 2016, when it pulled its funding as Trump looked set to clinch the nomination.

Lawyers for the Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee of its role in the funding on Friday. The outlet issued a statement standing by its decision to fund the project:

Since its launch in February of 2012, the Washington Free Beacon has retained third party firms to conduct research on many individuals and institutions of interest to us and our readers. In that capacity, during the 2016 election cycle we retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple candidates in the Republican presidential primary, just as we retained other firms to assist in our research into Hillary Clinton.

After the Democrats took over funding of the operation in mid-2016, Fusion GPS would hire former British spy Christopher Steele and would lead to the production of the so-called "Trump dossier," filled with salacious but unconfirmed claims about how Trump was compromised by the Russians.

Fusion has come under scrutiny for its alleged ties to Russia, including the fact that many of the claims originate from Kremlin sources -- meaning that the information came from inside the Russian government.

The Free Beacon noted in its statement that it had "no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele."

"The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Steele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources," Jack Langer, spokesman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News. "The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this assertion."

Yet, the revelation is likely to fuel questions about the role the so-called "Never Trump" movement played in an effort that would eventually inflict damage on President Trump, and that was possibly part of a Russian misinformation scheme.

The Free Beacon is funded in large part by the New York hedge fund billionaire and major GOP donor Paul Singer. The New York Times reports that Singer initially supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for the Republican nomination, but later spearheaded a campaign to deny Trump the nomination even after Rubio dropped out of the race.

While supporting Republican establishment favorites such as Rubio and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Singer was a major backer of Common Core and was the founder of a super-PAC that has the express purpose of turning the GOP pro-gay marriage.

The Examiner reports that the Free Beacon was originally part of the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization -- the Center for American Freedom -- but in 2014 became a for-profit organization. The Center's original board of directors includes William Kristol, a prominent "Never Trump" activist.

Kristol is also the founder of the Weekly Standard, which like the Free Beacon has a neoconservative foreign policy outlook. The Free Beacon was co-founded by two former Weekly Standard writers, chairman Michael Goldfarb and editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti.

***Update***

"The Washington Free Beacon has issued a statement asserting that it had no involvement with Christopher Steele or the dossier he compiled from Russian sources," Jack Langer, spokesman for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Breitbart News. "The Beacon has agreed to cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee to help the Committee verify this assertion."

TrumpAlways 2 years ago • edited I smell McCain. Anyone else smell McCain with a little bit of Bush in there...

[Dec 12, 2019] 'Always better to talk than not': Lavrov Pompeo take on Russia-US problems in Washington, DC (VIDEO)

Dec 12, 2019 | www.rt.com

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have briefed the media after talks in Washington, DC, the first such meeting since 2017. Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, Pompeo said the US was seeking a "better relationship" with Russia and that the two countries have been working on improving relations since his visit to Sochi in May. He said lines of communication between Moscow and Washington were open and relations were candid.

Lavrov echoed that, saying the two met regularly and also spoke frequently by phone. "It is useful to talk to each other," he said. "Always better than not talking to each other."

//www.youtube.com/embed/bp-uZHwMSWA

In a nod to the ongoing anti-Russia hysteria in the US, Lavrov said their joint work was, however, " hindered by the wave of suspicions that have overcome Washington." Calling allegations of Russian interference in US internal affairs "baseless," Lavrov said Moscow had "many times" asked the Trump administration to publish all correspondence between Trump and Putin from October 2016 and 2017, but that it had received "no response."

Allegations of Russian interference in US internal affairs are 'baseless': 'We have not seen any evidence, because it does not exist' – Lavrov pic.twitter.com/M1Ezgs22kd

-- RT (@RT_com) December 10, 2019

Russia is hoping the current anti-Russia feeling dissipates like the McCarthyism of the 1950s, Lavrov added.

Pompeo said that cooperation on anti-terrorism is one of the main focuses of the relationship, particularly in relation to Syria.

"We want to make sure Syria never again becomes a safe haven for ISIS or other terrorist groups," he said.

On Ukraine, Pompeo said the resolution of conflict in the eastern regions of the country begins "with adherence to the Minsk agreements."

[Dec 12, 2019] The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation"

Notable quotes:
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:27 utc | 42
I know on a recemt MoA Open Thread comments forum that there was a link to this recent John Helmer / Dances With Bears article mentioning that Sergei and Julia Skripal were being held at an airbase in Gloucestershire being used by the United States Air Force (USAF) at the time that Julia Skripal was interviewed by a Reuters representative in May last year. I consider that link and the news worth mentioning again in this comments thread as some commenters have already mentioned Sergei Skripal in connection with Christopher Steele's dossier.

As early as August 2018 , there had been speculation that the Skripals were being held at USAF Fairford airbase, based on audiovisual evidence in the background garden scene where the interview took place. Helmer's sources (they requested anonymity) spotted a chicken coop in the background which they say is a crow ladder trap. This is one indication that the garden scene was located near a runway. Background noises included the roar of jet engines.

If Helmer's information is correct, then we can now understand why the British government never gave Russian embassy staff access to the Skripals: London was in no position to do so, the Skripals were on US territory.

One implication of this new information is that the Skripals may no longer be in Britain and may now be living in North America somewhere with new identities. Should something happen to them (or have happened to them already), they will not be missed by their new neighbours. The Skripals will never be allowed to return to Russia and Sergei Skripal will never see or be allowed to communicate with his elderly mother again.

It really does look as if Sergei Skripal may have had something to do with that Orbis dossier after all, even if as a minor source or as a reference rather than the primary source of disinformation about Donald Trump's past activities in Moscow. What other work has Skripal done for his American masters?

Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:44 utc | 47
JR @ 20:

It looks as if Sergei Skripal may not be the primary source of the disinformation in Christopher Steele's dossier. Perhaps the person who is the primary source is not a Russian at all.

RJPJR , Dec 11 2019 23:56 utc | 50
JR | Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20 brings up a revisiting of the Litvinenko polonium poisoning.

It is worth mentioning that a tiny but crucial and virtually never mentioned detail of the official inquiry (considered the last word on the matter) is that those conducting the official inquiry were never allowed access to the autopsy report -- which should have been (which would have been, in any honest effort at inquiry) the bedrock starting point. The report has right along been sequestered by Scotland Yard in the interests of... you guessed it: national security. Go figure...

bevin , Dec 12 2019 1:46 utc | 53
It strikes me that the best explanation of the attack on the Skripals is not that he was responsible for the Steele Dossier in any way, but that he could easily prove that it was a fantasy. And was planning to do so.

He knew better, though, than to say so in the UK which suggests that he was on his way home with his daughter when MI6 caught up with him and poisoned them both.

Steele, Pablo Miller and Skripal were old partners in crime.

I'm wondering whether the mistake Sergei made was not to leave the house -- probably worth lotsa rubles -- behind and just go. On the other hand he was almost certainly under constant surveillance.

@50 The Official Report to which you refer was also very careful to enter extensive caveats regarding its conclusions for which there was almost no real evidence.

Cynica , Dec 12 2019 1:48 utc | 54

@Jackrabbit #12, @karlof1 #15

It seems important to note that Mr. Lavrov refers to administrations in his comments, not presidents per se. As there are many staff in presidential administrations, it seems entirely possible that 1) the requests from the Russians never reached Obama or Trump personally, and 2) either or both presidents were therefore not even aware of the requests. In the case of Trump, that would be consistent with the fact that many members of his administration have been revealed to have operated contrary to his wishes.

@Jen #42

The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation". This seems to be part of a general pattern.

@Jackrabbit #48

For the Steele dossier to be intentional bullshit (meaning its creator(s) knew it was false when they created it) doesn't seem all that surprising. Intelligence agencies promote disinformation all the time. That in no way means that Trump is in on the game.

pretzelattack , Dec 12 2019 2:04 utc | 55
by this point i don't know if either Skripal is still alive. Why keep them alive if they could debunk the oh so precious propaganda?
karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 3:20 utc | 58
Cynica @54--

Both Putin and Lavrov have stated that they talked directly with Obama and Trump about the issues involved with their relations, so there's no excuses or obfuscation possible is this case.

[Dec 11, 2019] Douma redix: Russia got just banned from the Olympics and the FIFA Cup

Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Passer by , Dec 9 2019 16:39 utc | 102

Russia got just banned from the Olympics and the FIFA Cup.

Now, i thought that the US and the West would be imploding at any minute? That the US is rapidly collapsing? That no one cared about what the US wants? This is what i was told by alt media. How is this possible?

I'm tired of low quality Alt Media analysis from people who consistently underestimate their opponents.

I'm tired of people with rose colored glasses and people with confirmation bias.

And then i'm tired of the low quality analysis about how Trump wants to break the system, how Trump is a secret ally to Russia, how Trump wants to dismantle the US Empire, etc.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The Trump admin is far more aggressive and imperialist than all before him in modern times. It did far more against Russia than what Obama did. And don't tell me how he (Mister "Let's take the Syrian and Iraqi Oil and do you know that we could nuke Afghanistan") does not want wars. He does not want big wars only because there is no money for that. But the aggression and hatred is still there. Only the capacity to wage military aggression has declined. But if things with the US economy were good, you would be seeing the same wars over and over again.

The US has started (or it is starting) a full blown cold war against China and Russia. And it intends to sabotage the global economy and globalisation in order to keep its advantage. All will lose, but in such scenario, the US will lose less. Thus they gain in relative power. This is what their aim is. So prepare for bad economic times ahead. The globalisation window (1990 - 2017) is over.

I'm also tired of low quality analysis about how Europe would rebel at any moment against the US. (Europeans instead pushed heavily in the WADA to ban Russia). These people do not understand Europe. Europe is castrated and will go down with the US ship because their whole psychology is based on it. On the Big Daddy US liberating them from themselves and keeping order. They don't know any better than that or how to think, as this "could lead to another world war". Only the US can and does. They can only be puppets to those "who know better". It is impossible to fix it. They will go down with the US until they are destroyed.

And one day, when the population changes with non-europeans, it is then when this is going to end. it is then when US and European imperialism will end. Because it is based on white people. On the narcisitic poison of "knowing better", hiding today behind universalist liberalism. See US polls about attitudes towards other countries, whites are generally more hostile to other countries. The liberals are the same imperialists as the old school racists. I say that as a white person. Yes, this imperialism is coming from white people, both the liberals and the racists. Together of course with the zionists living in simbiotic relationship with them. And when they finally get replaced by immigrant people, this mania about ruling the world will end, and will be replaced by a real multipolar system.

A non-white USA will be less aggressive USA and a non-white Europe will be less aggressive Europe. And both will be less pro-Israel as well. This is when this is going to end.


psychohistorian , Dec 9 2019 16:47 utc | 104

Lots to respond to

I think that Russia athletes being banned from Olympics is a stupid move because I think other countries may pull out in support of this...like China and others

@ uncle tungsten about Gazprom with the question about what happens next.
I see the world in a standoff of sorts waiting to see who blinks first.....and I think it will be empire
Read the two links below in support of my thinking that

Williams: "They've Effectively Lost Control Of The System"

Fed's Third "Year-End" Repo Oversubscribed Again Amid Liquidity Scramble As Dec 16 Tax Day Looms

The take away quote from the 2nd link
"
As a reminder, since the Sept 16 repo blow up, the Fed has injected $208 billion via "temporary" rolling overnight and term repos, and $114 billion via permanent T-Bill purchases.
"

john brewster , Dec 9 2019 17:00 utc | 105 vk , Dec 9 2019 17:02 utc | 106
@ Posted by: Passer by | Dec 9 2019 16:39 utc | 102

Well, the only USA that matters to the rest of the world is the USA-as-the-world's-sole-superpower. If that version of the USA disappears, then we would be talking about a completely different geopolitical architecture ("multipolar").

The USA itself doesn't need to collapse or disintegrate for that to happen.

My opinion is that the USA is losing its "sole superpower" status, albeit at a very slow pace. It couldn't be another way, since the USA is a nuclear superpower, so its competitors must deactivate its hegemony slowly and gently.

I also believe the USA will disappear some day, but in a different way than the USSR. Since the USA is a capitalist economy, it will desintegrate rather than collapse, and this disintegration will happen more a la Roman Empire (Crisis of the Third Century and beyond) rather than a la USSR. Capitalism has an anarchic way of producing and distributing its wealth, resulting in a decentralized web of institutions. First the institutions will decline. Second, the State will decline. Third, the economy will decline and only after this "phase 3" that we'll be able to se the real desintegration of the USA.

I don't believe the USA will fall by conquest, mostly because it has MAD, second because its geographic location favours a defensive war of its territory. More probable would be the gradual secession of some States after the economy has degraded enough. I wouldn't consider the loss of one peripheral State as the formal end of the USA, but if it goes to the stage of it losing more or less the Southern States or the Midwest States, then I think some historians would use these as a useful event to mark the formal end of the USA.

But before that, I belive the USA will remain a very influent regional superpower for the forseeable future. It would have to take the entire capitalist structure to fall for the USA to really enter its desintegration phase. I've talked with some Marxists, and the most optimistic of them belive the USA still has some 150-200 years of tranquil existence. Of course, we're not psychics, so they are all wild guesses.

[Dec 10, 2019] The key factor in USSR's demise was that it couldn't sustain the competition with the West and wasn't able to develop, "progress", "grow" at the rate the West was showing off. US and USSR levels were far closer back in 1950 than in 1980, and the discrepancy was only growing

Dec 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Clueless Joe , Dec 9 2019 16:28 utc | 100

John Brewster - 90
Did you by chance confuse Russia with Italy? Because Russia has close to 150M people, not 65M, significantly more than Germany. Granted, less than USSR back in 1939, but militarily more powerful compared to Germany - and possibly with more exploited resources.

vk - 79
I tend to agree with the view that the key factor in USSR's demise was that it couldn't sustain the competition with the Kapital and wasn't able to develop, "progress", "grow" at the rate the West was showing off. US and USSR levels were far closer back in 1950 than in 1980, and the discrepancy was only growing. Reagan fanboys might argue that he sped up the decaying process, but troubles and upheavals were going to happen, no matter what. Now, why this rate of progress was so different is another matter, and probably the most important one - both for 20th century history and for the fate of the West in this century.
It's also painfully obvious that the only path outside downright servitude for Europe is to distance itself from the USA and seek if not a direct alliance at least a clear partnership with Russia and a "detente" with clear rules on their borders and a common declaration of neutrality over Ukraine - as in: no side will try to annex the whole country, which either would be split up or ideally would have a heavy dose of decentralization and localism. But it is of vital importance for the actual survival of Europe that atlanticists and Russiaphobes be hunted down and expelled from any position of power or influence - be it from economy, media, politics.

[Dec 10, 2019] Those geriatric crazies like Pelosi, or Hillary, or completly corrupt, bought by lobbies politicos like Schumer or Schiff, and their stooges like "linguist" Ciaramella, "politruk", master of arts in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian studies Vindman, or Soros-connected rabid neocon Fiona Hill do not know what seven minutes on launch means

They poisoned with the USA with Russophobia for decades to come, and that really increases the risk of nuclear confrontation, which would wipe out all this jerks, but also mass of innocent people.
Notable quotes:
"... The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5. Not holding my breath I am afraid. ..."
"... Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions). ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT

O.K.

I was, actually, thinking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pershing_II#Protests Or, just follow this trend of "who has a bigger dick" as it is.

Sooner or later you'll have this, IMHO: Reaction time 7 minutes . You know, decision-making time to say "launch" or not. The decision-maker in the White House, Downing Street and Elysees Palace either a geriatric or one of this new multiracial breed. Just think about those people

Add to that the level of overall expertise by the crews manning those systems, its maintenance etc. Add increased automation of some parts of the launch process with hardware/software as it's produced now (you know, quality control etc.).

It will take a miracle not to have that launch sooner or later. Not big, say .80 KT. What happens after that is anybody's guess. Mine, taking the second point from the fourth paragraph .a big bang.

The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5.
Not holding my breath I am afraid.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Anon [138] Disclaimer , says: December 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm GMT
@peterAUS The rational actor false supposition has it that the biologics can't be used because they don't recognize friend from foe.

Rational actors? Where? Anthrax via the US mail.

One rational actor point of view is that you have to be able to respond to anything. Anything. In a measured or escalating response. Of course biologics are being actively pursued to the hilt. Just like you point out about Marburg.

But, the view from above is that general panic in the population cannot be allowed, and so all biologics have to be down played. "of course we would never do anything like that, it would be insane to endanger all of humanity". Just like nukes. So professors pontificate misdirection, and pundits punt.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis. "We only want the fear that results in more appropriations. Not the fear that sinks programs." Don't generate new Church commissions. Hence the fine line. some fear yes, other fears, no.

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Anon

Rational actors? Where?

Well Washington D.C.
Hahahahaha sorry, couldn't resist.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis.

I don't.

But I also probably forgot more about nuclear war than most of readers here will ever know. And chemical, when you think about it; had a kit with atropine on me all the time in all exercises. We didn't practice much that "biologics" stuff, though. We knew why, then. Same reason for today. Call it a "stoic option" to own inevitable demise.

Now, there is a big difference between the age of those protests I mentioned and today. The Internet. The access to information people, then, simply didn't have.

Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions).

Well, they will care, I am sure. For about ..say in the USA ..several hours, on average.

We here where I am typing from will care for "how to survive the aftermath" .. for two months.Tops.

[Dec 09, 2019] Banning Russian Athletes Politicized International Sports Competition Rears Its Ugly Head Again by Stephen Lendman

Dec 09, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Olympism and other major international sports events are all about profiteering, exploiting athletes, scandalous wheeling, dealing, collusion, and bribery, marginalizing the poor, other disenfranchised groups, and affected communities, sticking taxpayers with the bill, and providing nothing in return but hype and the illusion of amateur athletics at their best.

International sports competition is also highly politicized.

In December 2017, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), complicit with US hostility toward Moscow, banned Russian athletes from participating under their nation's flag -- despite no evidence of state-sponsored doping.

The practice occurs in amateur and professional sports, athletes on their own using performance enhancing drugs.

Banning clean athletes from countries for actions of rules violators breaches the letter and spirit of international sports competition.

On Monday, Tass reported the following:

"The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has approved recommendations of the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics and World Championships, for the period of four years" -- citing a WADA press statement, adding:

"WADA has also banned Russian state officials, ROC and RPC officials, from attending global sports tournaments."

They include the Olympics, Paralympics, and FIFA World Cup. RT reported that Russian athletes not accused of doping will be allowed to compete as "neutrals."

Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) championships games scheduled for St. Petersburg and the 2021 EUFA Champions League final in the city aren't affected by the ban.

Russia's Foreign Ministry slammed WADA for "squeez(ing) Russia out of international sports," a politicized action.

Last month, WADA's Compliance Review Committee called for punitive actions against Russia's Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), along with banning the country from hosting major international sporting events for four years.

Individual athletes should be held accountable for their actions, along with personal trainers or others if found to be complicit – not entire teams or nations without what's known as evidentiary standards and burdens of proof required in credible legal proceedings.

These standards require "clear and convincing evidence," beyond a reasonable doubt, the highest evidentiary standard.

Arbitrarily banning Russia from participating in major international sports competition is a politicized move, unrelated to legal standards -- part of unacceptable US-sponsored Russia bashing.

In 2016, WADA claimed over 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in state-sponsored doping – credible evidence proving the allegation not provided.

WADA's latest politicized action is further evidence of international sports competition's dark side, polar opposite the spirit of amateur athletics at their best.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net . He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

[Dec 09, 2019] The Untold Facts of John Brennan s Career of Treachery by Richard Galustian

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America". ..."
"... The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS ! ..."
"... Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'. ..."
"... Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what? ..."
"... Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less. ..."
"... "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018 ..."
May 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Let's get something clear from the start. In 1976, in his 20s, John Brennan was a card carrying communist who supported the then Soviet Union, at the height some might say of the Cold War, so much so he voted and assisted Gus Hall, the communist candidate for President against a devout Christian, Jimmy Carter who ultimately won the Presidency.

Yet under four years later, just after the then Soviet Union invaded, just weeks before, Afghanistan and months after the tumultuous Iranian revolution of 1979, which at the time many thought the Soviet Union had a hand in, Brennan was accepted into the CIA as a junior analyst.

At that time, John Brennan should have never got into the CIA, or any Western Intelligence agency given his communist background.

Think on that carefully as you continue to read this.

Also reflect on the fact that Brennan, later in his CIA career, was surprisingly elevated from junior analyst to the prestigious position of Station Chief in Saudi Arabia where he spent a few years.

Its said he was appointed purely for 'political' reasons, alleged to have been at the direct request of Bill Clinton and other Democrats not because of a recommendation or merit from within the Agency.

Its further said that the Saudis liked Brennan because he became very quickly 'their man' so to speak. Some reports, unsubstantiated, even allege Brennan became a Muslim while there to ingratiate himself with the Saudis.

Important to read is an NBC news article entitled 'Former Spooks Criticize CIA Director John Brennan for Spying Comments' by Ken Dilanian dated March 2nd, 2016.

The article contains many revealing facts and evidence, while giving a flavour, of the feelings of many in the CIA who felt that Brennan was totally unsuitable and unqualified to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

(This is the link to the above referenced article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/ us-news/brennan-joking-when- he-says-cia-spies-doesn-t- steal-n529426. )

A final controversy is the little known fact of Brennan's near four year departure from the CIA into the commercial world, having been 'left out in the cold' from the CIA, from November 2005 to January 2009 when he was CEO of a private company called 'The Analysis Corporation'.

So why was he then reinstated into the CIA, to the surprise of CIA's senior management, by newly elected President Obama, to head the CIA? No answer is available as to why he left the CIA in 2005.

(An important link that gives background to his experience in the commercial world can be read here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ cia-slammed-brennans- disingenuous-contract-bid- wikileaks-show)

Lastly let's not forget Brennan's many failures as CIA head in recent years, one most notable is the Benghazi debacle and the death of a US Ambassador and others there. Something else to ponder.

Back to the present an the issue of security clearances.

In early August, on the well known American TV Rachel Maddow Show, Brennan back tracked on his Trump traitor claim by saying "I didn't mean he (Trump) committed treason. I meant what he has done is nothing short of treasonous." Rachel Maddow responded correctly "If we diagram the sentence, 'nothing short of treason' means it's treasonous?"

A simple question follows. Since he is no longer in the CIA, why does he need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it?

Tucker Carlson explains succinctly here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kzxf9TcJ_3k

Last month what can be described as 200+ 'friends of Brennan', former CIA officials of varying rank, responded against the removal of former CIA Director Brennan's security clearances, in support of him.

These men and women too most likely will have their clearances revoked.

And why not?

Since the only purpose they retain it is to make money as civilians?

A potentially more serious issue than 'the Brennan controversies' is that the US intelligence community has around 5 million people with security clearances as a whole includes approximately 1.4m people holding top secret clearances. It is patently a ridiculously high number and makes a mockery of the word secret.

Former CIA veteran Sam Faddis is one of the few people brave enough and with the integrity required, that has stood up and told some of the real truths about Brennan in an 'Open Letter', yet this letter's contents have hardly at all been reported in the media.

Generally by nature, CIA Officers sense of service and honour to their Country, their professionalism and humility, and disdain for publicity has dissuaded most of them to enter the current very public Brennan controversy; but for how much longer?

As stated earlier, former CIA professional Sam Faddis explains what's wrong with Brennan in his revealing letter, abbreviated for space below. A link to the complete letter is: http://thepoliticsforums.com/ threads/107849-Scathing-Open- Letter-to-Mr-Brennan-by-Retired-CIA-Case-Officer:

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I implore you to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic. I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.

None of this is true.

You were never a spy. You were never a case officer. You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad. You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence. You have never been in harm's way. You have never heard a shot fired in anger.

You were for a short while an intelligence analyst. In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on information provided to you by others. The work of intelligence analysts is important, however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either.

In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was at that time Bill Clinton. As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the president each morning finished intelligence written by others based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals. Period.

While serving as presidential briefer you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton. End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former president, his wife Hillary and their key associates. Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. It is no more impartial analysis then would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this president. You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments. Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation. They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you most decidedly not apolitical but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

Ever since this President was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him led by you. This has been an unprecedented; to undermine the stability of the republic and the office of the Presidency, for solely partisan political reasons. You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack. Say so.

Sam Faddis

EPILOGUE:

I decided to update this article with this epilogue that summarises events since its first publication, but by not writing more. By simply adding links showing Brennan speaking in March just before Meuller's Report was released, and excerpts of other interviews and commentaries.

In this way, reader's can judge for themselves Brennan's essentially undoubtable despicable character which shines through by watching and reading the below 8 links up to 1st April 2019. There are many more, but in consideration of space, I've selected these links.

These are not in chronological order, date/time wise.

I would add that, for his own 'survival', and that of his co-conspirators, there will, I predict, over the coming days and weeks, be an attempt by Brennan to STILL try and fabricate 'dirt' on President Trump to justify his treacherous behaviour against importantly more than just Trump, but 'the Office of the President', something for which, in my opinion, he and those involved should be prosecuted for, even some jailed for.

Most particularly in addition to Brennan is clearly Obama himself, Clinton, Clapper and Comey et al.

1. Brennan https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/04/john-brennan-is-lying-no-way-he-wasnt-involved-with-russia-hoax-from-the-beginning/

2. Brennan's treasonous behaviour. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/ex-cia-director-john-brennan-admits-he-may-have-had-bad-information-regarding-president-trump-and-russia.amp?__twitter_impression=true

3. John Brennan Now Says His Months of Attacks on Trump "May Be Based on Bad Information"!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bQvY4aD7T9o

4. Ex-CIA Boss Got "Bad Information", Now "Relieved" Trump Not a Criminal. https://www.youtube.com/embed/g5X3MbGShRg

5. Fox News – John Brennan Admits He had 'Bad Information' on Mueller Report.

6. Ex-CIA director Brennan backs down from calling Trump's claims of no collusion 'hogwash'

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wXVLgB6SbsE

7. Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video) – August 2018

Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video)

8. Russian collusion was no more than "conspiracy porn" created by Clinton and Obama.


Herbert Dorsey 17 days ago ,

The CIA operation in Benghazi was smuggling weapons captured from the Libyan army to Syria via Jordan and Turkey to arm the anti Assad forces. This operation was directed by Brennan, Clinton, Obama and General Petraeus and was in total violation of national and international law.

Ambassador Stevens was aware of this operation and allowed to die by delaying a military rescue operation, as part of a cover up of this illegal operation. Dead men tell no tales.

Herbert Dorsey AM Hants 17 days ago ,

Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America".

They don't like Trump because he is the first non CIA President in a long while (George W. Bush was not CIA but under his father's influence) and not part of the secret team. Hopefully, they eventually will be punished for their crimes. Qanon gives hope!

Down to Earth Thinking Herbert Dorsey 14 hours ago ,

The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS !

AM Hants Garry Compton 17 days ago ,

Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'.

Which provided safe passage and new identities for the Nazi and Bolshevik Elite. Funny how the stench behind the overthrow of he Russian Empire, can still be found, firmly embedded in the swamps of the 21st century.

Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what?

Wasn't McCain's father also good friends with Allen Dulles? Wonder where Clinton fitted into the work of Dulles?

Taras77 17 days ago ,

One of the more murky issues is the murder of Michael Hastings. A lot of information died with his murder but some info indicates that he was working on a major report on Brennan. He reportedly advised his friends that the fbi was working on an investigation on him and he was fearful for his survival

As many will recall, Hastings died in June 2013 in fiery crash of his Mercedes which was speeding at up to 100 mph in a calif neighborhood.

Also, many will recall, the leaking of "Vault 7" by wikileaks indicated that one of the tools revealed was the ability to remotely control a vehicle without any input from the driver, positive or negative. This ability is described in detail in the following:

https://www.wired.com/2015/...

A "conspiracy theory" article summarizes the murkiness of the death of Michael Hastings:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/ne...

Nassim7 Taras77 17 days ago ,

How do you think the Royal Family killed princess Diana? If they can control a drone on the other side of the globe, they can certainly control the accelerator, brakes and steering of a motor vehicle.

Billo 16 days ago ,

Only the most creepy evil people are allowed to be in our government. They have done a terrible job. Our country is like a plane in a death spiral, and the same list of creeps keeps getting into the White House. The same people no matter who we elect. Trump has the same people, or worse than Obama or Hillary or Bush had. It's past time to try and salvage whatever is left of this country.

Bill Rood 4 hours ago ,

Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum.

Marv Sannes 14 hours ago ,

100 Stinger shoulder launch ground-to-air missiles. Stevens tried to block the shipment, the embassy was attacked by a highly skilled, armed, assault team - the story told by "Tonto", one of the military contractors involved in the attempted rescue. All those Americans in Benghazi were sacrificed in the same way the USS Liberty crew was sacrifice.

Greater Israel is the base of all this violence. Incidentally, "Tonto" and his mates had to commandeer a private jet, after the fire-fight, that got them to Germany - the US/CIA/State Dept., etc. left them to their own methods and they got out, to the consternation of the Obama/Clinton Administration.

Chelsea Yorkshire 15 days ago ,

Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less.

Well............Those two contrasts will be intriguing to watch how the grandchildren and great-grandchilren will fare when the US Empire becomes so degraded, that the young will have to forage on their own for housing, water, and food.

Sam Adams Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

It is axiomatic that the Democrats always accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of. Never forget that.

Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018

luluka 16 days ago ,

He has to be part of a CIA "cleansing" operation. Better put him in jail with no rights whatsoever . Let that turd rot in some humid dungeon . That's for the rats like this one .

[Dec 09, 2019] One of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Russ , Dec 9 2019 9:32 utc | 77

A User , Dec 9 2019 7:13 utc | 72

One of things which concerns me most about this site and most others inhabited by contrarian blokes of a certain age is the way that topics discussed are most often the same topics as those fed to the mugs via corporate media.

Sure the opinions are vastly different, but the subjects are not. So much energy and time wasted on pointless topics like the amerikan prez when we all know that it really doesn't matter who jags that gig nothing meaningful will alter for amerikans or the people outside amerika oppressed by empire.

Now the prez thing is a bit of a troll since so many amerikans have been intensely indoctrinated right through their lives to believe that all the prezdency guff is meaningful when it so obviously isn't. That in reality the odds of any amerikan suddenly having an epiphany about the pointlessness of DC kibuki from reading this, or something similar written by someone else, are negligible.

So we have to accept, to a degree, that Washington Housewives and Days of Our Lives DC will continue to feature at MoA.

But what happens when the corporate media chooses not to consider much larger, more pernicious forms of imperialism than is currently occurring in the ME because that imperialism is nascent, awful things are being done to humans western populations who have not been sufficiently propagandised against, so may not greet the tales of murder and mayhem generated by the actions of french foreign legionaires, english SAS or amerikan special forces with sufficient approval?

Easy, we just don't talk about it except when told to or where there is no choice because some action by the imperial thugs for hire has attracted too much attention. In that case the barest of details make it into the news and we will be told that whoever it was who had their families butchered belonged to an organisation which 'western intelligence' said was 'associated with ISIS'. No specificity, not details at all apart from the one unsubstantiated claim, which lets face it says any village of humans anywhere that contains a single resident which western intelligence believes is somehow associated with ISIS, is worthy of being genocided out of existence.

I reckon one of the best indicators of imperial violence is displaced persons. We saw in the ME that various forms of ethnic cleansing were practised to persuade people to move off their traditional lands in order to either exploit the natural resources in the area (see Saudi Amerika driving tribes from the newly discovered hydrocarbon prospects in North Yemen), or to create lebensraum for another group of humans currently held in favour by the empire (see the shifting of arabs and Turkamen from North Syria to give ready made villages to Kurds which only lasted for as long as the Kurds were needed by empire).

So many people were displaced in the ME during the first half of the teens that shock, horror some european countries felt obliged to allow a few of those whose lives had been destroyed into their communities.

That was then, yet we still all talk about the ME as though it is where the empire is committing its most egregious harm, but that is no longer the case.

If you check this Pew Center article you will see The total number of people living in sub-Saharan Africa who were forced to leave their homes due to conflict reached a new high of 18.4 million in 2017, up sharply from 14.1 million in 2016 -- the largest regional increase of forcibly displaced people in the world" .

If one checks the chart Pew has provided we can see that the numbers of decent humans in the ME who have been displaced from their land is alleged to currently be 21.5 million while the number of persons displaced in sub-Sahara Africa is about 3 million less at 18.4 million.

See so more action in the ME still. No, firstly the ME curve has flattened right out over the years since 2016 meaning that new displacements are relatively low unless of course it is your whanau that has been displaced in which case it wouldn't feel nearly as benign.
Secondly if you look at the fine-print on that chart you will see the 21.5 million line is labelled "Middle East-North Africa".

Libya is an African state which happens to have a proportion of arabic speaking people in its population, it also contains Berbers (e.g. Muammar Ghadaffi) and what the chart calls "sub-Saharan Africans when they want say negro but the unfortunate connotations associated with that term (99% the result of horrific whitefella behaviour) means that negro is no longer a la mode in whitefella land.

Not enough to rape, steal & steal from black Africans, now we also remove the means to identify them as a distinct group.

The Libya africa/ME issue matters a great deal because prior to the fukusi rape of Libya, that nation acted as a bulwark for all the supra-saharan nations, some Saharan eg Niger and that was just as likely a reason for amerika to destroy Libya setting loose the ethno-centrists of Misratah to kill black africans, standover Berbers & Turks to ensure that only Arab speaking semites can get control. This is the deal the empire struck. Not to enable italy to get some of that sweet sweet crude at the sort of bargain basement prices Italy hadn't enjoyed since Mussolini invaded Libya - that was purely a minor side benefit, now the good colonel was no more, fukus became the only game in town.
There was no longer any white knight determined to protect his/her neigbours from the outright theft, extortion, bribery, rape & murder which are the empire's stock in trade.

It began with aa team of US military nuclear experts in Niger .

It is foolish and counterproductive to ignore the horrors that a US-led fukus mission which runs across the entire African continent has created in the name of more billions to the already rich.
Do it if you want, but all you are really achieving is enabling the arseholes.

There is a scarcity of relevant links for the usual reasons. Not only are you more likely to put faith in info from sources you already know & trust, getting there will help you comprehend this crime far better than something easily digestible from a user, and most importantly the final paras were done long after the sun rose over the yardarm here.

@ A User 72

All very true. I would place the de jure war onslaughts within the overall context of globalization and in particular the imperialistic assault of corporate industrial agriculture upon Africa, the last great semi-frontier which wasn't fully assimilated by the first "Green Revolution" onslaught. A main goal as the global empire faces decline or collapse is to seize control of all land and drive the people OUT.

Globalization acts to destroy all local production and distribution. It destroys this outright or seizes control of it in order to force it into the global commodity framework. It seizes control of indigenous land and resources. It dumps subsidized Western goods. It destroys any functional politics and democracy. It imposes the control of multinational corporations over every part of life it can. It does this purely in the power interests of Western elites. Any benefits it lets trickle down to locals are purely calculated payouts to accomplices. Much of the global South has been crushed under the corporate boot this way, and Africa has already been subject to the IMF and World Bank’s debt indenture shock treatment (“structural adjustment”).

All this has been accompanied by the systematic ravaging of African ecosystems, culminating in the rising climate chaos driven by the patterns of energy consumption, waste, and ecological destruction practiced and imposed by Western industrialized productionism and consumerism. Climate change is caused by these actions. Since corporate state elites and their supporters have long known this and in spite of lots of lip service have refused to do anything to avert the worst of it, it’s long been true that climate change is an intentional campaign of aggression against the Earth and all vulnerable peoples. Thus climate change takes its place as the most extreme and far-reaching of the corporate campaigns designed to cause disaster, destruction, and chaos. According to this pattern of disaster capitalism the corporations then proceed to use the crises they intentionally generate as further opportunities for aggression and profit. All corporate sectors practice this, and corporate agriculture is the most aggressive and destructive practitioner of all. Today Africa is its primary new target.

Corporate control of agriculture and food has always been at the core of the globalization onslaught. In accordance with its food weapon the US government systematically has waged economic, political, chemical, biological (both of the former in the form of poison-based agriculture and other pretexts for systemic and systematic environmental poisoning), and often literal shooting warfare. Throughout this history of war and sublimated war, corporate agriculture has been a constant weapon and battleground as well as its aggrandizement being a constant goal.

[Dec 09, 2019] Our Lying Military, Our Lying Government by Rod Dreher

Dec 09, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Everybody's talking about the FBI report today, but as far as I'm concerned, this long piece in the Washington Post is the real news. Here's how it begins:

The documents include transcripts of interviews with soldiers, diplomats, and others with direct experience in the war effort. Excerpts:

"We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan -- we didn't know what we were doing," Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House's Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

"If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . . . 2,400 lives lost," Lute added, blaming the deaths of U.S. military personnel on bureaucratic breakdowns among Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department. "Who will say this was in vain?"

More:

"What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth $1 trillion?" Jeffrey Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House staffer for Bush and Obama, told government interviewers. He added, "After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan."

The documents also contradict a long chorus of public statements from U.S. presidents, military commanders and diplomats who assured Americans year after year that they were making progress in Afghanistan and the war was worth fighting.

Look at this:

Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul -- and at the White House -- to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

"Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible," Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. "Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone."

One more:

As commanders in chief, Bush, Obama and Trump all promised the public the same thing. They would avoid falling into the trap of "nation-building" in Afghanistan.

On that score, the presidents failed miserably. The United States has allocated more than $133 billion to build up Afghanistan -- more than it spent, adjusted for inflation, to revive the whole of Western Europe with the Marshall Plan after World War II.

The Lessons Learned interviews show the grandiose nation-building project was marred from the start.

Read it all.

If you can get through it all, good for you. I got so mad that I had to quit reading not long after the paragraph above. We have lost about 2,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, and sustained about 21,000 casualties of war. (Not to mention all the dead innocent Afghan civilians, and the dead and wounded troops of our NATO allies.) We have spent altogether almost $1 trillion on that country. The Afghan officials stole a fortune from us. We never knew what to do there. And every one of our leaders lied about it. Lied! All those brave American soldiers, dead or maimed for life, for a war that our leaders knew that we could not win, but in defense of which they lied.

It's the Pentagon Papers all over again. You know this, right.

Trump is negotiating now with the Taliban over the possibility of US withdrawal. The story says US officials fought the Post in court over these documents, and have said most recently that publishing them would undermine the administration's negotiating position. I don't care. Tell the truth, for once. Let's cut our losses and go before more Americans die in this lost cause. Poor Afghanistan is going to fall under the tyrannical rule of the mullahs. But if, after 18 years, a trillion dollars, and all those dead and wounded Americans, we couldn't establish a stable and decent Afghan regime, it's not going to happen.

If any of my children want to join the US military, I'm going to go to the mat to talk them out of it. I do not want them, or anybody's sons or daughters, sent overseas to die in hopeless countries in wars that we cannot win, and shouldn't have fought, but kept doing because of bipartisan Establishment foreign policy delusions. To be clear, we should have bombed the hell out of Afghanistan after 9/11. The Taliban government gave shelter to Al Qaeda, and brought retribution upon itself. But the Bush Administration's nation-building insanity was never going to work. Eight years of Obama did not fix this. Nor, so far, has three years of Trump, though maybe he will be the one to stop the bleeding. If he does withdraw, I hope he blasts the hell out of his two predecessors and the military leadership for what they've done here.

I've been writing lately in this space, and in the book I'm working on, about the parallels between late-imperial Russia and our own time and place. And I've been writing about what Hannah Arendt had to say about the origins of totalitarianism. Arendt says that one precursor of totalitarianism is a widespread loss of faith in a society's and a government's institutions. According to a 2019 Gallup poll, the US military is one of the few institutions that enjoys broad confidence. How can anybody possibly believe them after this? How can we believe our Commanders-in-Chief? According to the secret documents, the men in the field have been were their commanders for a long time that this Afghan thing was not working, and wasn't ever going to work. But they kept sending them back in.

Why? Pride? Too full of themselves to admit that it was a failure? As soldier John Kerry turned antiwar activist said back in the 1970s, about Vietnam, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" No more American dying in and for Afghanistan. Bring the troops home. They did not fail. Their superiors did.

How do you convince young people to join an institution whose leadership -- civilian as well as military -- is prepared to sacrifice them for a lost cause, and then lie, and lie, and lie about it? How do you convince mothers and fathers to send their sons and daughters with confidence to that military? How do you convince taxpayers to support throwing more money into the sh*thole that is the Pentagon's budget?

The questions that are going to come up sooner than most of us think, and, in some version, from both the Left and the Right: just what kind of order do we have in America anyway? Why do I owe it my loyalty? What does it mean to be a patriot when you cannot trust the nation's leaders and institutions?

These are the kinds of questions that, depending on how they are answered, can lead to the unraveling, and even the overthrow, of a regime. It has been said that the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan was a prime mover in the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet system. We are not the Soviet Union -- but I wouldn't be so quick to take comfort in that, if I were a political or military leader.

We learned nothing from Vietnam, did we? Not a damn thing. It is beyond infuriating. It is beyond demoralizing. And you know, the only thing more infuriating and more demoralizing than this will be if there are no consequences for it, or if people fall back into partisan positions. The report makes clear that this is a disaster that was launched by a Republican administration, continued under a Democratic administration, and has been overseen by another Republican administration.

One of the reasons Donald Trump is president today, and not some other Republican, is he was the one Republican primary candidate who denounced the wars. If he can't get us out of Afghanistan, what good is he?

UPDATE: I was just thinking about something a military friend told me almost 15 years ago, based on his direct personal knowledge of the situation: that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was lying to the nation about how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were going. And if Rumsfeld was lying, so was the administration. My friend was deeply discouraged. Rumsfeld left office in 2006 -- but the habit remained with our leadership.


Sid Finster 29 minutes ago • edited

The only thing that surprised me in the WaPo article was that it was published in the CIA's house organ.

EDIT: I should have added that the squandering of blood and treasure, fighting a pointless war that benefits nobody but the financiers, contractors, arms manufacturers and generals, all while the politicians and generals proclaim that victory is just at hand, we can't turn back now, - all this reminds me of nothing so much as a smaller scale WWI.

Tony55398 13 minutes ago
Trump wants us out of Afghanistan, but Iran is a different story. He's sending more troupes to Saudi Arabia to defend the Saudi's from Iran, how is that disentangling from the ME. I think the Saudi's Wahhabism, basically the same as ISIS practices, is the most dangerous religion in the word today and they are busy exporting it to the rest of the world. I really think Trump is a false prophet, a lying prophet, who serves first himself.
disqus_nocmkvBMwY 10 minutes ago
Didn't vote for Trump - but: He has attempted to stand up to the elite establishment intelligence-military-arms manufacturing complex and start cutting back the forever wars. Everyone attacks him for this--establishment Republicans, Democrats, State Department, Military, Intelligence, Media--everybody. The attacks are immediate and intense. He is almost always forced to pull back. He seems determined to keep trying, but, as is evident, they will do anything it takes to stop him.

[Dec 09, 2019] As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 8 2019 19:17 utc | 25

"A botched assassination attempt against Ukrainian politician and businessman Vyacheslav Sobolev has resulted in the death of his three-year-old son, Alexander.

"While Sobolev and his wife were leaving his high-end restaurant "Mario" in Kiev this past Sunday, right-wing thugs opened fire on Sobolev's Range Rover, missing him but hitting his son who was seated in the back of the vehicle. The three-year-old died on the way to the hospital.

"Police later apprehended two men who had fled the scene in a black Lexus sedan, Oleksiy Semenov, 19, and Andrei Lavrega, 20. Both are veterans of the war in Donbass in eastern Ukraine where they served as members of the fascist Right Sector's paramilitary formation until June of this year.
"The Right Sector was instrumental in the US- and EU-backed, fascist-led coup in February 2014 that toppled the Yanukovitch government and replaced it with a pro-Western and anti-Russian regime. Since then, the Right Sector has been among the far-right forces that have been heavily involved in the war against Russian-backed separatists in East Ukraine.

"As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

"Lavrega, who has been identified as the principal shooter in the killing, has been a member of the Right Sector for at least half a decade. He had participated in the Maidan movement of 2014 as a member of the Right Sector and perfected his shooting skills as a sniper killing separatist soldiers in eastern Ukraine. According to his Right Sector battalion commander, Andrei Herhert, Lavrega -- also known as "Quiet" -- was "one of the best snipers in the war" and "very ideological."

"As a thanks for his service to the right-wing Kiev government, Lavrega received a military decoration from former President Petro Poroshenko for "courage" just last year, in October of 2018." ..........

"Whoever is ultimately responsible for ordering this political assassination and the murder of the three-year-old boy, it is clear that the same far-right forces that were instrumental in the coup in February 2014 and the civil war are now being employed to carry out political assassinations by the Ukrainian oligarchy.

"Since the 2014 coup, the number of targeted political assassinations by right-wing neo-Nazi groups like C14 and the Right Sector has skyrocketed. At least 15 people have been murdered in such hit jobs by the far right since 2014. Among them was the well-known Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet and the politician Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed in a horrific acid attack by right-wing thugs last year.

"In virtually all these cases, the perpetrators have been protected from serious legal prosecution. One of the murderers of Handziuk received a barely three-year prison sentence. A critical role in shielding the neo-Nazis is played by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs' Arsen Avakov, who controls the country's police force and possesses well-known ties to Ukraine's most notorious fascist militia, the Azov Battalion.

"Avakov is one of the few members of the previous Poroshenko government that have remained in the current Cabinet of Ministers under President Volodmyr Zelensky. He was recently praised by former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while testifying before the House of Representatives regarding the Trump impeachment investigation (see also: "The impeachment crisis and American imperialism").

"President Zelensky, who was elected in April this year on the basis of promises that he would bring an end to the widely despised civil war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people, has maintained a conspicuous silence on this latest political assassination attempt by the far right. Instead, the day after the murder, he posted a message on Facebook to honor two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine this past weekend."
The rest of the story can be found at the WSWS
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/07/ukra-d06.html

The Right Sector links with the former US Ambassador-Democratic heroine- are topical.


cirsium , Dec 9 2019 0:03 utc | 53

@bevin, 25. - this article from The Stalkerzone provides information on the killers and suggests that they intended to kill the child as a message to the father
https://www.stalkerzone.org/ato-monsters-in-ukraine-a-market-of-hired-serial-killers-appeared/
uncle tungsten , Dec 9 2019 8:19 utc | 75
psychohistorian #68

Thank you for that insight. I cannot see how Zelensky will manage the Nazi Ukrainians short of a virtual civil war against one western district. The USA will foment a major insurrection to destroy him if he does a deal with Gazprom. Your suggestion as to where those issues are discussed would be welcome.

A User #72

Thank you and well said. The eurocentric kabuki does mesmerise the information providers. I too seek escape from that dominance and spent a good time today researching the Power of Siberia implications and issues of South America. The global assault on all things African is a matter of deep despair for me and I feel totally powerless to reverse the relentless assault on their world.

[Dec 09, 2019] When it became clear the USSR wouldn't be able to keep up technologically with the USA, Gorbachev then decided (without knowing it) it would be preferrable for The USSR to disappear than to continue to exist as a non-superpower.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 9 2019 12:08 utc | 79

More on "Western imbecilization":

A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana

These are the successors of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, etc. etc.

--//--

This is Brazil's "God's Army":

'Soldiers of Jesus': Armed neo-Pentecostals torment Brazil's religious minorities

First Worlders commenting here seem to have the illusion Christianism is the good brother of the three Abrahamic religions. Although I understand the pro-Christian bias coming from the Europeans (since Christianism is an inextricable aspect of European identity), this opinion is a myth: we have already tasted this in the Bolivian coup, but it's also a Latin American phenomenon.

Christians are wolves under sheep skins.

--//--

@ Posted by: pogohere | Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

The USSR had a relatively backwards transportation system (specially railways), that still used disproportional quantities of petroil to function, but that wasn't an existential threat to the nation per se , it could be modernized.

Of all the theses I've read about the collapse of the USSR, the one that most convinced me was Angelo Segrillo's "Decline of the USSR" - which I think only exists in Portuguese right now. Segrillo covers all the arguments of the time used to explain the fall of the USSR and refutes them all empirically before he lays out that the main cause of the fall of the USSR was its structural inability to implement the Third Industrial Revolution ("toyotism").

When it became clear the USSR wouldn't be able to keep up technologically with the USA, Gorbachev then decided (without knowing it) it would be preferrable for the USSR to disappear than to continue to exist as a non-superpower.

In that sense, yes, the Soviet then relatively inneficient energy use was a symptom of the underlying cause - but it wasn't the cause.

--//--

@ Posted by: bevin | Dec 9 2019 3:03 utc | 62

The problem with Europe is its geography: it is a tiny, depleted peninsula. In the 17th Century, it was an advantage, since the lack of natural resources impelled it to aggressively exploit other continents, giving birth to capitalism.

But capitalism is a global system, not a regional system. When it reached maturity, Europe slowly, but inexorably, begun to lose its competitive advantages over purely capitalist formations - the greatest of them all being the USA. Then what was an advantage became a disadvantage.

This gordian knot was cut with WWI and WWII (both were only one war, in two parts) - a last desperate attempt by British capitalism to preserve its imperialist status.

But History is unasailable: it is the saga of class struggle, of the contradictions between the modes of production and the relations of production. The result couldn't be any different: Western Europe was on its knees after WWII. The British Empire had just sold all its assets to the Americans and German men were literally prostituting themselves to American soldiers for on cigarette (and German children, for one chocolate bar). The USA was the undisputed sovereign of the European Peninsula from 1945 on.

The last leverage the European Peninsula had, in that scenario, was the USSR itself: it could ask the USA for good treatment and some dignity in exchange of not doing socialist revolutions backed up by the Soviets. The result was the Marshall Plan and a permission to revive their previous industrial parks.

That situation resulted in the rise of Atlanticism, the ideology that the USA is the legitimate heir of Western Civilization. Andy Warhol was the successor to Michelangelo.

--//--

@ Posted by: john brewster | Dec 9 2019 4:35 utc | 65

The USSR stagnated during the period that spanned from the oil crisis of 1975 until its fall in 1991.

But it only had a recession in two years of its history: the year after the Perestroika and its last year of existence. Both were very mild recessions (by capitalist standards).

Even during the infamous "Brezhnev stagnation", growth was 1-3% per year - comparable to the developed capitalist nations since the 1990s.

But the problem is that its successor states are doing objectively worse: Russia will grown a little more than 1% this year; other ex-Soviet states are more or less in the same situation (with Ukraine doing outright worse). The mircle promised to the Russians didn't come: Putin's boom of the early 2000s was not comparable to the Soviet boom. Russia's status today are completely dependent on China (which, ironically, has the Soviet system of government) and the modernization from the old Soviet weapons and know-how it already had.

[Dec 09, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate. ..."
"... Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured. ..."
"... It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is. ..."
"... Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency). ..."
"... Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing. ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... "From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. " ..."
"... "At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia. A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed


ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't. SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

Bob Van Noy , December 8, 2019 at 09:22

Simply, wonderful

OlyaPola , December 8, 2019 at 07:43

Words are catalysts of connotations and connotations are functions of expectations/framing..

Some conflate cause with purpose thereby limiting perception of cause and purpose.

Some understand that causation is interactive and in any lateral system the genesis of causation is difficult to determine.

Some understand that evaluation is a function of purpose and that purpose can be evaluated through such portals into wonderlands such as "What is the "United States of America" and how is it facilitated?"

As thumb-nailed in the comments section of the article Capitalism's suicidal trajectory – OlyaPola
December 6, 2019 at 07:46

"From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. "

From 1922 onwards various tactics have been attempted by the "West" to facilitate their purpose, including attempts at "Orange revolution" in many areas which catalysed many lateral trajectories including the process of transcendence of the "Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation in the period from 1991 to 2005.

Consequently Mr. Suslov's observation re war of "The United States of America" can be extended into present times and hence no "New cold war" exists.

""What is the "United States of America"

An initial step through the portal is that "The United States of America" is – a regime of social relations to facilitate its purpose – the social relations not being restricted to the "nation state" presently self designated "The United States of America" but including classes in other "nation states".

Consequently alternative purposes and social relations pose an existential threat to "The United States of America"; this being perceived of lesser significance in regard to "The Soviet Union" and greater in regard to the Russian Federation.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.
But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 09, 2019] WADA bans Russia from international sporting events for four years Sports German football and major international sports new

WADA is new OPCW. See The Douma Hoax Anatomy of a False Flag
WikiLeaks - OPCW Douma Docs
Media Silent as Nobel Prize Winning OPCW Found "Fixing" its Own Findings on Syria
Dec 09, 2019 | www.dw.com

The ban means Russia will miss next year's Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022. It leaves the door open to Russian athletes determined to be free of doping to compete under a neutral flag.

... ... ...

Not only will Russian athletes be banned from major competitions but government officials will also be barred from attending such events. Russia will also not be eligible to host or even bid to host major events during the same time period.

... ... ...

However, Russian athletes who can prove to WADA's satisfaction that they are clean and were not part of what it believes was a state-sponsored system of doping will still be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

The Review Committee's recommendation to ban Russia was based on its finding that Moscow had falsified doping data from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) lab, which was handed over to WADA investigators in January. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov has attributed the discrepancies in the data to technical issues. Full disclosure of data from the Moscow laboratory had been a key condition of Russia's controversial reinstatement by WADA in September 2018.

RUSADA had been suspended for nearly three years previously over revelations of a vast state-supported doping program contained in a 2015 WADA-commissioned report.

Russia now has 21 days to appeal the decision. If it chooses to do so, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

[Dec 09, 2019] These kind of propaganda warfare are essential for the Western elites to make the masses connect the dots and begin to hate Russia as an entity because sports events are something they experience firsthand.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , Dec 9 2019 12:32 utc | 80

Russia banned from major sporting events for 4 years

I know most people here think this is silly, but these kind of propaganda warfare are essential for the Western elites to make the masses connect the dots and begin to hate Russia as an entity because sports events are something they experience firsthand.

The common Westerner worker may not care if Russia nailed some Western gas exporters with the Nordstream - but he/she will associate this with some kind of "Russian dishonesty" because he/she also read about Russian sports banning.

The working classes won't go to war in the name of their elites against Russia because it was banned from the Olympics - but they will do so if they perceive Russia as a direct and imminent threat to their vision of world, to their way of life. They will fight to the death for the interests of their elites if they perceive they are necessary to protect their lifestyle.

That's why these propaganda warfare tactics of the likes of WADA is dangerous.

[Dec 09, 2019] More on the Skripal-Douma alleged false flag connection

Notable quotes:
"... In regard to our suggestion, the latest move against Damascus was predominantly a UK project, a link was sent to us today to an article by Thierry Meyssan on Voltairenet that's certainly interesting. ..."
"... It's not "the US", it's an international grouping of ideologues and other cranks, focused as much, maybe even more, in the UK as in America. If Meyssan is right these people are highly placed, but operating subversively within their own governments. Of course we have always known these thing are true to some extent, but this latest event seems to be taking this subversion to a new level. ..."
"... Seventeen years ago a small group of highly placed individuals in the US government may have engineered or at very least allowed 9/11 to happen for their own geopolitical ends. We'd be naive to consider a second such event to be impossible. ..."
"... The real danger isn't that a group of ubermenschen or Bond-villains want to incinerate humanity for vague and unspecified reasons, it's that the deep heart of the Russophobic cabal is too dogma-driven and infested with idiots to understand the real world results of their plans. ..."
"... „Wasser verstärkt die oxidative und ätzende Wirkung von Chlor" (WATER exacerbates the corrosive effect of chlorine (because hydrochlorid acid is formed through the moisture) So why would medical experts then hose down these alleged „chlorine" victims? Of course they would not. So this too, seem to confirm that the whole scene was staged. ..."
"... Another article by Mr Meyssan http://www.voltairenet.org/article200375.html refers to the British regime " is elaborated by an elite gathered around the monarch, outside of any form of popular control " The idea of a deep state seems too convenient. In every sphere the regime exploits the population for it's own requirements, if indeed the regime adheres to a nationality. Cold war, hot war are regime terms, all that matters is knowing who not to trust. ..."
"... There is a very powerful deep state in the UK. I think its leadership is hidden deep in the Privy Council and enforced by MI5/MI6. It runs a hidden economy financed through crime – fraud against UK taxpayers, foreign countries etc, It controls the judiciary when need be. This speech by Gerald James although old gives some idea; ..."
"... Catte, we do know for absolute certain that WTC-7 came down by controlled demolition, not by fire – it's a matter of science – and that fact means inside job, however much it was also an outside job. It's fine to be rigorous but if the facts are staring you right in the face that's rigour enough. I simply do not understand reluctance to call things out when they're in your face. It's not as if a court hearing is necessarily going to give you a better answer, is it, but hopefully there's going to be one soon where the truth will be revealed, at least as much as necessary. ..."
"... According to the 52-page petition, which is accompanied by 57 exhibits, federal statute requires the U.S. Department of Justice to relay citizen reports of federal crimes to a special grand jury. The unprosecuted crime alleged to have taken place on 9/11 is THE BOMBING OF A PLACE OF PUBLIC USE OR A GOVERNMENT FACILITY -- as prohibited under the federal bombing statute or 18 U.S.C. § 2332f -- as well as a conspiracy to commit, or the aiding and abetting of, said offense. ..."
Apr 15, 2018 | off-guardian.org

In regard to our suggestion, the latest move against Damascus was predominantly a UK project, a link was sent to us today to an article by Thierry Meyssan on Voltairenet that's certainly interesting.

Published March 20 it puts forward the idea the Skripal affair was a false flag intended to be the launch pad for a wholesale diplomatic attack on Russia that Meyssan suggests would initiate a "new cold war."

While it's possible to question this terminology (many would suggest we already have a "new cold war" and are on the verge of it becoming hot), his narrative offers a valid interpretation of recent events, and indeed looks more persuasive today that when it was written.

What Meyssan suggests is as follows:

Back in March a projected coup was planned between the UK government and the neocons in Washington to create an irresistible drive to a) launch a full blown assault on Damascus and b) get Russia removed from the UN Security Council.

The means was to be first the Skripal incident and immediately thereafter a large scale false flag chemical weapon attack on Ghouta.

Rex Tillerson, then US Secretary of State, was involved in this plan.

However by some means (Meyssan doesn't say how) the Syrian and Russian intelligence services became aware of the plan, and realised it was not the Pentagon behind it, but "some other agency."

The Russians immediately alerted the media to a possible false flag.

At the same time, bypassing diplomatic channels (because he was concerned to avoid others who were siding with the "plotters"), Russian Chief of Staff, General Valeri Gerasimov contacted his American counterpart General Joseph Dunford to inform him of his fears of a game-changing intel-sponsored event in Syria. Dunford in turn informed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who told Trump.

Since this apparent plot was going on without the knowledge of the White House & Pentagon, Trump then told Mike Pompeo, the head of the CIA, to investigate.

As a result Trump became convinced Tillerson was involved and soon after, fired him.

This, in essence, is Meyssan's story. He cites no source for the claims about back-channel communications, and we can't verify them even slightly. But we all know Russia did indeed warn of a pending false flag in Syria several times throughout March, and developments since the time of Meyssan's writing lend credence to the broad thrust of interpretation.

The orchestrated & hysterical response of the UK state machine to the Skripal event doesn't just hint at agenda rollout, it shouts it. The idea this was indeed the first act of a make or break plan is certainly more than believable. Indeed we all heard the suggestion about removing Russia from the UNSC repeated in the media at the height of the hysteria.

Whether Meyssan is right or wrong, we absolutely did just see an orchestrated, high level operation unfold, apparently designed to discredit Russia finally and forever.

It suggests new levels of idiot-insanity going on. Not only is such a plan amateurish in conception (kicking Russia off the UNSC, even if achievable, is not going to suddenly neutralise their political and military power), it would seem to have been doubly so in execution.

The Skripal story is a farce. But the apparent attempts to go forward with the "chemical attack" when all rationale for it was gone and when Douma itself was about to fall, shows stupidity beyond comprehension. If this was the UK, as the Russians claim, rather than rescuing themselves they simply added another embarrassing failure to the list, and dug themselves even deeper into easily-exposed crime.

The entire situation must be a warning, and not just the usual cliché about the US being a danger to world peace.

It's not "the US", it's an international grouping of ideologues and other cranks, focused as much, maybe even more, in the UK as in America. If Meyssan is right these people are highly placed, but operating subversively within their own governments. Of course we have always known these thing are true to some extent, but this latest event seems to be taking this subversion to a new level.

Seventeen years ago a small group of highly placed individuals in the US government may have engineered or at very least allowed 9/11 to happen for their own geopolitical ends. We'd be naive to consider a second such event to be impossible.

It also seems clear those enacting this plan initially had little idea how dangerous it really was, and were to some extent astounded by the Russian reaction, and the horror expressed by the more sane elements in international government. This is also significant.

It's a cliché in some alt media now to say the elites want WW3 and to talk about "population reduction" or some other meme. But, while it's certainly true there is a strong eugenicist de-population cult in the upper echelons, it's highly improbable any of them would choose a thermonuclear war as a viable method.

The real danger isn't that a group of ubermenschen or Bond-villains want to incinerate humanity for vague and unspecified reasons, it's that the deep heart of the Russophobic cabal is too dogma-driven and infested with idiots to understand the real world results of their plans.

We can be sure they won't have learned from this and won't be deterred from more of the same or worse in future. And if their next remedial scheme doesn't get stymied by circumstance or nifty footwork, no one will be more surprised than they are when it kicks of WW3.

But they do have some opposition within the state machine, and always have. There were people in the US and UK intelligence agencies who didn't want to lie about WMDs, and there are people today in the UK FCO who off-record told Craig Murray about the lies being forced on them regarding the Skripal case. These are people with enough smarts to want to avoid real confrontation with Russia, however prepared they are to play the public word games.

I think it's important we address this more nuanced reality rather than opting for the security of familiar memes.


vierotchka ,

Press Conference of Alexander Shulgin, Russian Representative to the OPCW
Streamed live on 16 Apr 2018
It comes with interpretation in English.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QEb74ip_6RM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Cassandra ,

Pt. 2: WHY WOULD ASSAD DO IT?
The French govt also argues that the use of CW in East-Ghouta was both in a tactical and a strategical sense a (sort of) military stroke of genius but I'll spare you the BS except for one argument:

The „strategic" aspect was that Assad wanted to punish the civilians in „rebel-held" areas and by creating „terreur et panic" they achieved their aim of surrender.

„Because the war is not over for Assad, he wants to demonstrate thru these ruthless attacks that resistance is futile "

This is bollocks of course because the Russians and the SAA are winning and have painstakingly negotiated with the „rebels" and arranged for them to be evacuated in buses to Idlib. (Can anyone imagine the US-military doing such a thing after 7yrs of war?)

AND President Assad knows very well that the civilians in rebel-held areas were captives, treated like slaves, starved for food (sold by the synthetic "rebels" at exorbitant prices) and brutally executed if they refused to live under Sharia-law or supported Assad. So there was absolutely no need to „punish" them for anything.

Coincidentally, high-ranking former British military officers totally disagree with the French "assessment"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5616533/Former-head-Britains-special-forces-says-Assad-doesnt-need-use-gas.html

but the French stick to their surreal script .

„Given the operational situation in Eastern-Ghouta on April 7, we estimate with high-confidence that the responsibility [for the non-existent CW-attack] can be attributed to the Syrian Regime". (Sound familiar?)

And finally they put in this kind of „disclaimer" when they say „Les services francaises are not in the possession of any information which would support the thesis, that these armed groups in East-Ghouta have endeavored to acquire CW for themselves or that they were already available to them."

(Now that is a BIG Lie even the MSM has reported that the "rebels" DID use CW ( i.e. see Carla del Ponte, Seymour Hersh and Scott Ritter on this)
„Furthermore we regard a manipulation of the released pictures as implausible, because the groups present in Ghouta had no access to the means necessary to exercise a communication-manoeuvre of this magnitude" (!)

(this ridiculous claim does not even deserve a comment their "PR" has been highly effective since it was directed and organized by MI6 see voltairenet for more)

The biggest lie comes at the end when they claim that Assad has not declared all his CW to the OPCW, has kept a CLANDESTINE CW-programm all the time (since 2013), has intensified the use of CW continually and that the Russians are in on this.

And then follow the (by now familiar) highly-manipulative phrases which are supposed to be imprinted on our brains now:

As Sergei Lavrov recently said to the BBC "the proof is (apparently) in the punishment" .. it is crystal clear that neither the Briitsh nor the French gov't is interested in a thorough, forensic investigation (whether in Salisburgy or in Douma) and the fact they have acted as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner BEFORE any impartial investigation took place is proof enough of their duplicity

What I find extremely puzzling is this: The Russians now say they have "irrefutable evidence" that Britain has instigated a false flag Douma (and obviously in Salisbury as well) . SO WHY don't they show it to us???? Why not publish the findings of the Swiss lab? Is this some weird diplomatic code of conduct they adhere to?

Cassandra ,

President MACRON recently stated that he has „proof" that CW were used in Douma and that it was the Syrian Army. Now the French govt has released the „evaluation nationale" but it seems no-one is paying attention to it.

https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/download/528742/9123389/file/180414%20-%20Syrie%20-%20Synthe%CC%80se%20-%20Les%20faits.pdf

After reading the document carefully one can only reach one conclusion:

There is NO PROOF whatsover in this evaulation and it is obviously addressed to an audience considered to be incapable of critical thought. The format of the document is rather revealing because it contains no offical ID from a French „service" or ministry (just „Republique Francaise") and the authors are unknown (so no official takes personal responsibility for its content, like the phony „assessment" on CW released by the WH in 2017)

//assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3553049/Syria-Chemical-Weapons-Report-White-House.pdf

In order to find out who committed a crime, forensic evidence is extremely important, as we all know from detective thrillers and court-room dramas. But in this case, there is NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE (no criminal investigation by a CSI-unit). There are only unverified pics and videos posted on YouTube by the White Helmets (WH).

It is impossible to verify WHERE these pics/vids were taken and also WHEN because the metadata have been tempered with. The WH of course have NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever, being a cover for the massive „strategic information" (incessantly demonizing Assad) created by MI6, who also ran the massive PR for the artificial „rebels" in Syria. (See voltairenet.org for more on this).

And yet this is the basis for the „assessment" of the French govt. They write that „French experts have analyzed the symptoms (visible in the pics and vids) which can be described as follows (respiratory distress, asphyxiation, cyanosis, skin-burns, excessive salivation, etc.) Taken together, these symptoms are characteristic für a CW-attack, especially for suffocating-agents. The use of asthma-sprays supports the thesis that such agents were used."

So instead of a forensic examination and autopsy, all we get is an interpretation of symptoms to fit the frame of the Assad-gasses-his-own-people horror-narrative. To this, they add statements from anonymous people working (in Douma) for medical NGOs like UOSSM (created in France in 2011, PR-front group) and SAMS (US directed front group) who claim that about a hundred people „stormed" their health facilities in Douma and at least 40 died as a result of the CW-attack.

They use medical staff of course as „CREDIBILITY-ENHANCERS" because in general people tend to trust doctors, nurses and paramedics, hence the „White Helmets" (and the faux „nurse" telling the heart-wrenchning, invented tale of the incubator-babies in Iraq in 1990)

I asked a friend who works for one of the biggest chemical companies in Germany (BASF) about the symptoms and he said they are consistent with a chlorine-exposure but that does NOT mean that it could ONLY have been chlorine. Very similar symptoms occur when people have been exposed to SMOKE-INHALATION (German: Rauchgasvergiftung)

And now it gets really interesting because a video has been released by Russian and Syrian TV stations in which two medical students who work for the emergency department of the Douma hospital, say that the people shown in the WH-video had indeed been exposed to SMOKE-INHALATION.

A house in Douma had been hit by an airstrike which caused a fire in the lower floors and the partial collapse of the upper floors. So these people had breathing difficulties and were taken to the emergency dept of the hospital where they were given first aid. Suddenly some men appeared and shouted „this was a gas-attack!". They then began to douse the patients with cold water (from a hose), which caused panic (children screamed of course). These „dramatic" scenes were filmed then the strangers disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

I cannot verify if these medical students told the truth, but given the political context, I have much more reason to believe them than the White Helmets or the French DGSE.

Just one more thing, the brochure from BASF about the dangers of chlorine contains one sentence that caught my eye:

https://www.basf.com/documents/corp/de/sustainability/employees/occupational-medicine/medical-guidelines/Chlor_D_BASF_medLeitlinien_D003.pdf ( German)

„Wasser verstärkt die oxidative und ätzende Wirkung von Chlor" (WATER exacerbates the corrosive effect of chlorine (because hydrochlorid acid is formed through the moisture) So why would medical experts then hose down these alleged „chlorine" victims? Of course they would not. So this too, seem to confirm that the whole scene was staged.

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

This is NOT a 'French' report. It is an Israeli Zionist pile of black propaganda, no doubt dictated by the CRIF, the de facto government of the slave state formerly known as 'France'.

rogerglewis ,

Doing a little more tunnelling into the Rabbit hole. A Bill Clinton reference to Karl Rove led to some interesting events surrounding the recently pardoned Scooter Libby.

@KarlRove https://bit.ly/2HFtLlh opposing Military Industrial Complex isn't equal2 Putin Apologism. War(s) Crimes of aggression started for false reasons With no proper Investigative & War reporting from corporate media how 2 hold http://bfy.tw/AKAh #warmongerstoaccount
5:26 PM – 17 Apr 2018

rogerglewis ,

https://theduran.com/british-intelligence-services-are-the-masters-of-propaganda-and-false-flags/
Great Article on the Duran.

Old Pepper,

The criminal group led by the red clown and the old Mare with the skewed muzzle continues the provocations. On Monday, the British representative in the OPCW accused the Russians of non-admission of OPCW experts in Duma. At the same time, the OPCW experts while in Damascus were expecting a solution of the Security Department of the UN, because controlled by the Britons the bandits were instructed to fire at the place where the white helmets organized the performance with a "chemical attack". At the same time, the United States began to yell that Russian do not allow the OPCW experts to the Duma, seeking to eliminate traces of the "chemical attack". This gang HIGHLY LIKELY thinks we're all idiots.

The world is already clear that no poisoning of the Tablets was not, as there was no chemical attack by Assad. Clown and Mare managed to negotiate with the Russians and they did not respond to the shelling of Syria. Seeing that the Russian did not respond, the bandits completely insolen. And now they can arrange another chemical provocation and hit in Syria already on the Russians. And is not the fact that the Russian will not answer. This is war. I do not want because of a bunch of idiots, teasing the Russian bear, to a slaughter in which no one will survive.

rogerglewis ,

Watching the Commons Statement Yesterday from Theresa May and reflecting overnight I revisited some interactive Dada.

We are watching Karl Rove's actors in history. What is in the grey space and what do we have between our Ears?

Kaiama,

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html
A little ray of sunshine ATL.

Goldmember,

The funniest part of Meyssan's story is that Trump asked DCI Pompeo to investigate the false flag. What a nube.

Think it through. They didn't say cabal, they said agency. DoS is not an agency, it's a department. 'Ideologues and cranks?' 'Highly placed, but operating subversively within their own governments?' You are describing CIA.

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/ST/

That small group of highly placed individuals who did 911? That was CIA and their moles in key departments: Brennan, Blee, Cofer Black, Wilshire, Bikowsky, Bowman. The deep heart of the Russophobic cabal is not some secret society, it's a longstanding CIA program. These programs look international because CIA uses eyes-only intelligence liaisons to conceal the dirty work they delegate to other countries' agents.

The opposition within CIA is also institutionally chartered. CIA has a routine: dewy-eyed boy scout analysts secretly decry the insanity of the operations people. Then when the shit hits the fan, CIA publishes the analysis and uses it to blame somebody else. That's how they blamed Vietnam on the Pentagon, with their tongue-in-cheek Pentagon Papers. And that's how they blamed Tillerson for their very own CIA plan and conspiracy for war.

milosevic,

This is a very promising thesis. I hope you can expand on it. Another angle might be Nixon/Watergate/WaPo. Or Reagan/IranContra/North. Of course, JFK/Vietnam/Oswald goes without saying.

physicsandmathsrevision ,

Here's a lecture given to FSB (KGB) students by a Russian professor. He says the world is governed by a "Conceptual Power" that exists above elected governments and that this template has been in place since 1350 B.C.. Very interesting at the very least:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/uAQXfC3S9lM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Alan,

Another article by Mr Meyssan http://www.voltairenet.org/article200375.html refers to the British regime " is elaborated by an elite gathered around the monarch, outside of any form of popular control " The idea of a deep state seems too convenient. In every sphere the regime exploits the population for it's own requirements, if indeed the regime adheres to a nationality. Cold war, hot war are regime terms, all that matters is knowing who not to trust.

vexarb,

Re BZ (British Zyklon?) the following lengthy clip from Saker's "Curious Incident" discussion reflects OffG's raison d'etre: that Facts Really ought to be Sacred. The MSM have abandoned this principle, as have the Leaders of F, UK and US regimes among others in the Western world. This is a huge reversal of human progress, and extremely dangerous for the world because the West now has runaway Technology without Ethics. BTL Saker:

vot tak on April 16, 2018 · at 1:09 am UTC 14.04.2018

Embassy Press Officer comments on the findings of the Swiss experts regarding the Salisbury incident

https://www.rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6486

"Q. Is there any new information regarding the findings of experts from Switzerland in connection with the Salisbury poisoning?

A. According to information from the Swiss Federal Institute for NBC-protection in Spiez, its experts received samples collected in Salisbury by the OPCW specialists and finished testing them on 27 March.

The experts of the Institute discovered traces of toxic chemical called "BZ" and its precursors. It is a Schedule 2 substance under the Chemical Weapons Convention.

"BZ" is a chemical agent, which is used to temporary incapacitate people. The desired psychotoxic effect is reached in 30-60 minutes after application of the agent and lasts up to four days. According to the information the Russian Federation possesses, this agent was used in the armed forces of the USA, United Kingdom and several others NATO member states. No stocks of such substance ever existed either in the Soviet Union or in the Russian Federation.
In addition, the Swiss specialists discovered strong concentration of traces of the nerve agent of A-234 type in its initial states as well as its decomposition products.

In view of the experts, such concentration of the A-234 agent would result in inevitable fatal outcome of its administration. Moreover, considering its high volatility, the detection of this substance in its initial state (pure form and high concentration) is extremely suspicious as the samples have been taken several weeks since the poisoning.

It looks highly likely that the "BZ" nerve agent was used in Salisbury. The fact that Yulia Skripal and Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey have already been discharged from hospital, and Sergei Skripal is on his way to recovery, only supports such conclusion.

All this information was not mentioned in the final OPCW report at all. Considering the above, we have numerous serious questions to all interested parties, including the OPCW."

Sushi       on April 16, 2018  ·  at 3:04 am UTC

That statement on the part of RF embassy is good to see as it confirms my own supposition as recorded in Part X.

It is always nice to go out on a limb and then discover the rest of the world supports the finding rather than sawing off the limb 🙂

But I believe the big take-away from this event is the fact that the state is no longer held in check by the MSM. This means that the ordinary citizen is paying for an entity which is actively acting to subvert the interests of the citizenry. This is very dangerous.

These [truther] articles each get about 10,000 page views. This is a drop in the bucket in comparison to the total voting population of the UK, or France, or FRG or US or CA. If you believe this information is valuable then you should share it. You do not have to agree with all that I have written. It is quite possible I have made errors, drawn incorrect conclusions from the evidence etc, etc.

The key issue is that the MSM is not engaged in a review of an incident which, on any degree of review fails on the merits and is quickly exposed as false, deceptive and grounds for vilification of another state which I believe to be innocent of the allegations made against it. If I could find evidence of RF involvement I would gladly write that. But I cannot locate any such evidence. This event is likely to be used to further justify illegal use of force in Syria. If the public comes to the belief that "Bad Vlad" is pulling all the strings then they will accept the march toward global war. The problem is that the person really pulling all the strings is located at Number 10. If bad things happen they have a taxpayer financed bunker to retreat to. The ordinary citizen is not even assured of a working NHS. _So if you find this series of value then address it with your family and other contacts._ Cheers!

WJ,

https://mobile.twitter.com/caitoz/status/985683664032874496
Link to story cited in prior comment

WJ,

US now explicitly commits itself to stay in Syria for purpose of ..Iran. https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/nikki-haley-seems-to-be-saying-us-will-remain-in-syria-as-long-as-iran-exists

thorella,

There is a very powerful deep state in the UK. I think its leadership is hidden deep in the Privy Council and enforced by MI5/MI6. It runs a hidden economy financed through crime – fraud against UK taxpayers, foreign countries etc, It controls the judiciary when need be. This speech by Gerald James although old gives some idea;

http://zersetzen.wikispaces.com/file/view/Gerald+Reaveley+James.pdf

The next link shows the involvement in crime:

https://goggzilla.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/not-only-was-the-mets-investigation-into-the-costello-affidavit-a-sham-but-so-was-the-authorities-entire-conduct-of-barry-beardalls-appeal/

intergenerationaltrauma ,

Excellent post Catte. Thanks. There is certainly serious dissension within the ranks of the U.S. establishment or we would not be seeing the various fits and stops and starts that have characterized both Trump's appointments, and his subsequent removal of various appointed advisors, as well as his erratic foreign policy actions since he entered office. Trump himself was never "the problem" for the collective U.S. deep state, it was Trump's stated goal of "getting along with Russia" that has prompted close to open warfare between factions of the U.S. ruling class and institutional structures. What is amazing to behold is watching almost the entirety of the leadership of the most powerful Western nations on earth morph before our eyes into a group of slapstick carnival clowns selling snake oil and war as if they were some sort of magic elixir sure to prolong their much cherished Western hegemony. Recent events have pulled the mask off of the facade of "Western democracy" to reveal the grinning death mask of a dying elite power structure, delusional, paranoid and grandiose to the bitter end.

flaxgirl ,

Fascinating article but

Seventeen years ago a small group of highly placed individuals in the US government may have engineered or at very least allowed 9/11 to happen for their own geopolitical ends

???
May have? Allowed?
How many articles has OffG published on 9/11 that show unequivocally that it was an inside job? Seventeen years later with the vision of hindsight for those of us who did swallow the lies we can see how utterly silly we were. We can see so clearly how steel frame skyscrapers do not collapse symmetrically due to fires, how a band of men armed with boxcutters cannot negotiate the most restricted airspace in the world without an effective stand down – provided so very conveniently by 21 drills occurring on the morning of 9/11, some of which exactly matched the alleged real life events.
No further investigation needs to be conducted to know that 9/11 was an inside job – only to sort out the guilty and exactly what happened. In fact, all you need to know that 9/11 was an inside job is the undisputed 2.25 seconds of free fall acceleration in the collapse of WTC-7. That tiny piece of information is all you need. For free fall, the 82 steel support columns must have given way at virtually the same time and for that to have happened only controlled demolition could have been the cause and controlled demolition can only mean inside job.

Catte,

We've successfully proved the official story is a lie, but we haven't uncovered what actually happened beyond there being foreknowledge and pre-planning of some kind. Who did the planning, how many people knew how much how long before it happened, we do NOT know.
Do we?
Let's be as rigorous about the sceptical argument as we are about the official story.

flaxgirl ,

Catte, we do know for absolute certain that WTC-7 came down by controlled demolition, not by fire – it's a matter of science – and that fact means inside job, however much it was also an outside job. It's fine to be rigorous but if the facts are staring you right in the face that's rigour enough. I simply do not understand reluctance to call things out when they're in your face. It's not as if a court hearing is necessarily going to give you a better answer, is it, but hopefully there's going to be one soon where the truth will be revealed, at least as much as necessary.

10 April – Lawyers and Victims' Families File Petition for Federal Grand Jury Investigation

According to the 52-page petition, which is accompanied by 57 exhibits, federal statute requires the U.S. Department of Justice to relay citizen reports of federal crimes to a special grand jury. The unprosecuted crime alleged to have taken place on 9/11 is THE BOMBING OF A PLACE OF PUBLIC USE OR A GOVERNMENT FACILITY -- as prohibited under the federal bombing statute or 18 U.S.C. § 2332f -- as well as a conspiracy to commit, or the aiding and abetting of, said offense.

https://www.ae911truth.org/news/447-lawyers-and-victims-families-file-petition-for-federal-grand-jury-investigation

Ross Hendry ,

I think Catte was saying we don't know the people who were involved, etc. but she accepts that the official story is a lie.

flaxgirl ,

We don't know who exactly but we know for absolute certain that rogue elements within government were involved. We definitely know it was an inside job, whatever outside involvement there was.

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

How do you explain the 'five dancing Israelis' filming the attack as it happened, from Liberty Park in New Jersey?

Google Talpiot Program ,

3 of the 5 appeared on an Israeli TV show afterwards where they said they were there to "document the event".
http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1

Google Talpiot Program ,

"Not excluding it, jut saying it's not an inevitable conclusion they were involved at all, and certainly no indication there were at the center of anything."
No one is saying they are at the centre of anything. That they were in a position to film, were reportedly celebrating, their story changed multiple times in interviews with law and enforcement and that they were possibly Israeli intelligence all adds up to making it an interesting detail.
Especially when all the other evidence of 9/11 is investigated and puts the dancing Israelis in context.

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

LUDICROUS! They knew of the attack, before it happened. Others filming the atrocity were NOT wildly celebrating the deaths of thousands. They were attempting to pose as 'Arabs' to defame them. One told one of the arresting police that 'Your enemy are the Palestinians'. The police found traces of explosives in their van. One or more failed lie-detector tests before they were simply released and allowed to go home to Israel, where they appeared on TV, one admitting to being MOSSAD.

Admin ,

Steady on. The source quoted above doesn't say anything about wild celebration, it just says the five men were looking happy and smiling. That's a bit weird of itself but don't exaggerate it into something else. Thats just replacing memes with other memes. Maybe they were involved, but there are many other possibilities, including them simply watching the event with no direct connection at all.

What significance do you see in the traces of explosives? Are you suggesting these guys are the ones who wired the WTCs for demolition, and that they had brought the RDX/thermite there in that van, which they didn't ditch but continued to drive around in?

Five guys with no known specialist knowledge, wiring three massive towers for demolition from one small van? You don't think it was likely a bigger more professional outfit that would do that? One – say – with permits to enter and renovate the towers/enter the lift shafts?

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

Your diversionary tactics are interesting. They were described as 'dancing, jumping and giving each other 'high-fives'. Obviously they were overcome with grief. The presence of explosive traces plainly has nothing to do so with the controlled demolition. It just seems odd, and suspicious. No-one at any time suggested that these five did the placing of the controlled demolition charges. Of course it was others, probably Israeli Death Force sappers. And they were NOT 'just watching'-they were filming it, and from the first aircraft strike. Pretty prescient of them.

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

9/11 irrefutably, I would say, was a MOSSAD operation, with US sayanim, and Sabbat Goy involvement, the US side centered on that Zionist Israel First cabal, the 'neo-conservatives'. Christopher Bollyn does an excellent job of outlining the Zionist ' Clash of Civilizations' and 'War on (Islam) Terror' projects, the latter, in particular, an endeavour of Netanyahu's for decades. Everything that flowed from that event, the genocides in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and the destruction inflicted on those unlucky lands, the crucifixion of Syria, the regular, ritual, massacres in Gaza, are all creations of the Zionist elite, and follow closely the strategy outlined in the Oded Yinon Plan of 1982, which was reiterated by Netanyahu in the 'A Clean Break' manifesto.

Zionist control easily explains May's involvement, as she is a groveling toady of the Netanyahu regime and the Holy State that sits above mere 'International Law'. Apparently, when Netanyahu visited Putin in Sochi a year or so ago, and made certain demands on Russia in regard to Syria, and Putin rebuffed him, so great was Netanyahu's distress at this insubordination by a mere goy that he lost self-control and went a little hysterical. Hence the renewed determination to keep the vivisection of Syria going, and prepare for Holy War on Lebanon and Iran. Of course Bibi's path is that of the Masada Complex, he being a wannabe zealot 'hero', and he seems oblivious to the reality that unending Israeli aggression will only bring about Israel's destruction, in the manner that it has inflicted ruination on its neighbours for 70 years.

bevin,

"..Let's be as rigorous about the sceptical argument as we are about the official story."

Absolutely agree.

It is quite reasonable for someone to be convinced that, to use a popular argument on this thread, Corbyn is an MI 6 agent but if there is no evidence of this cited not only is it impossible to insist on the 'irrefutable' nature of the assertion but to do so is to discredit oneself, the discussion in question and, fairly quickly, the blog in its entirety.

It is one of life's little ironies that off guardian, which insists that we weigh evidence rigorously where claims by the state are concerned, is becoming something of a refuge for assertions based on evidence just as sketchy and circumstantial as those put forward by the likes of Freedland and the BBC.

So 9/11 might have been a Mossad operation, just as Putin might have ordered the attack in Salisbury and the White helmets could be well meaning humanitarians discovering gas attacks.

Let us see the evidence before we agree that something is irrefutable, even when it is something as clear cut as the fact that Corbyn (already revealed to be a Czech spy, having once had tea with one) has had tea with an MI 6 agent and is therefore, connecting the dots, completely unreliable and no more to be supported than, say, Boris Johnson. The proof being that he did not oppose, we are told the Magnitsky Act, sponsored by his fellow agent (and PLP member) Ian Austin.

At any rate the Israeli Embassy can now call off their campaign against Corbyn who is revealed to be almost as big a friend of Israel as Blair- who even Roman Polanski knew was a CI Agent.

Admin,

It is one of life's little ironies that off guardian, which insists that we weigh evidence rigorously where claims by the state are concerned, is becoming something of a refuge for assertions based on evidence just as sketchy and circumstantial as those put forward by the likes of Freedland and the BBC.

Excuse me? Since when have we been guilty of that?

In Hasbara College-but he flunked out.

flaxgirl ,

There is nothing elaborate whatsoever in claiming WTC-7 came down by classic, controlled demolition, aka, an implosion. It's irrelevant how substandard its material, how much fire was in it, or how much damage it suffered. The manner of its collapse tells all. Pre- and during- explosions, kink in middle at start, beautiful symmetry, near and partial free fall, complete dismemberment of steel frame and molten metal are all unique characteristics of controlled demolition while there is not even a lick of flame to be seen in videos of the collapse. WTC-7's collapse by "fire" is the greatest case of the Emperor's New Clothes the world has ever seen.

I've done an Occam's Razor exercise on the collapse of WTC-7 and offered $5,000 to those who support the official story to produce an equivalent exercise favouring the "fire" hypothesis. No one has been able to respond.
http://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com/911.html

BigB ,

Bevin: if this comment is aimed in part at me, you are deliberately misrepresenting my assertions. No one on this thread, makes the accusation that Jeremy is an MI6 agent except you. As you say, there is no evidence for this and personally, I do not believe he is. What I have empirically and objectively shown (previously with links) is that he can be co-opted by the Cabinet Office and JIC to conduit faulty intelligence fed to him. That does NOT make him part of the intelligence apparatus, only ancillary to it. To this end, it was interesting to note his actions this weekend: commenting on Syria. For this he sought, but did not get an intelligence briefing as a Privy Councillor. This was quite clear on the Marr show: he talked about "other parties" that may have perpetrated the Douma provocation but he said "I don't know, I don't know" quite a few times. Corbyn "unbriefed" wants an OPCW investigation and a UN mandate to act: which is perfectly reasonable and legal. And probably clears up any false assertion that he is in the full-time employ of MI6?

Re: the Magnitsky ammendment. Not only did Corbyn "not oppose" this: he actively promoted it at every opportunity. As I have tried to make clear we already have "Unexplained Wealth Orders" which are analoguous to Magnitsky sanctions. We do not need another Magnitsky ammendment. This was the government position before 6th March. I do not claim that Jeremy is pushing this Act because he IS an MI6 agent: but I can quite clearly show he is pushing it FOR an MI6 agent. Thank if you do not conflate and impute meaning for me.

And no, I have not produced "evidence" that Browder is an agent for SIS: but if he is not, he might as well be? Or perhaps you think him an innocent human rights activist as he styles himself. What is irrefutable, empirical, and objective is that this one man is the source of much of the character assassination of Putin (from his "Enemy No1") and Jeremy is pushing his agenda. Why: I do not know – naivety? Beyond that, I leave the speculation to you.

If Ian Austin is an agent, he would be a Mossad agent but I make no such claim.

As for the Israeli Embassy: I have covered that elsewhere in depth. No, they will not call off their campaign. Yes, they already have a hold, and they are not far off gaining a veto control of the Labour disciplinary process: whereby anyone can be suspended on false accusations of anti-semitism: a position Jeremy has backed himself into by his strategy of appeasement.

All in all: I would say my assertions are grounded in empiricism, and I have not claimed anything I cannot back up. So facts are sacred: even if that means you do not like them?

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

I suggest immersing yourself in Christopher Bollyn's excellent videos regarding Israeli planning for just such an operation, to be undertaken to provide the 'New Pearl Harbor' that the fanatic Zionist 'neo-conservatives' declared presciently would be needed to get the USA to do Israel's dirty work in destroying the Moslem countries of the MENA. The evidence of Israeli and US sayanim involvement is huge, most circumstantial, but other parts, like the 'five dancing Israelis' seen filming the atrocity in real time, are rather more convincing.

BigB ,

I read one of Bollyn's books, can't remember the title. I take on a lot of his points: but I personally frame such events as transnational, or better still: supra-national. To say it was this or that country alone is not how I view it: the perpetraitors were ultimately working for a "higher cause"! Caitlin Johnstone just did a piece about this: the ultimate beneficiaries form a globalised superclass that is totally amoral and has no allegiance to any particular cause or country. Zinoviev termed this the Westernised "supra-society". Certainly not every individual: but at the corrupted core – all Western Intelligence agencies serve a cause that transcends the national interest. National security is a line they feed us: the UK as a whole benefits little from our involvement in Syria, and less still, from being embroiled in a Cold War with Russia on the grounds of national defence. It's all a con!

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

The Zionist elite support other states and their elites only in so far as they serve Israel's interests, or rather the interests of the Israeli and Diaspora elites. These interests are not those of much of Jewry, or, of course, of any goyim but the collaborative type like May, Micron, Cheney et al. The Zionist elite most certainly do possess global ambitions rooted in Talmudic doctrine.

Mulga Mumblebrain ,

Please don't misrepresent me. I have stated over and over again that the culprits are the Zionist elites in Israel and the Diaspora, NOT Jews as a whole. Many Jews oppose the nefarious activities of the Zionist elites, and many others are passive, just like all other communities. But in the matter of 9/11 proposing that the Zionists not be mentioned is quite bizarre. In my comments immediately above (the last seven or eight) there are eight 'Zionists' and one 'Jewry' and that was in the context of asserting that not all Jews support Zionist crimes or benefit from them.

Ross Hendry ,

Bollyn is very reliable on 9/11, in my view.

mog ,

@bevin

I am sad to see you write that. I have not seen anyone here claiming Corbyn to be an MI6 agent, and it reads as inflationary misrepresentation to say that people have.

The Labour bureaucracy is simply overpowered/ outmaneuvered by a very well organised, well connected and well resourced psywar operation, – one that has at least some links to Israel and zionist sympathies.

Too many on the Corbyn Left cannot engage with this for fear of being branded racist.

Do you refute the accusation of Corbyn's appeasement?

Evidence for Mossad involvement in 9/11 ?

There is a heap of evidence, arguably no conclusive evidence, but not far off:

'First, Bergen, NJ residents saw five people on a white van filming the attacks and visibly celebrating. They had set up their cameras before the first plane hit. Police arrested them. All were Israelis (now referred to as the "dancing Israelis"). Bomb-sniffing dogs reacted as if they had detected explosives, although officers were unable to find anything. The FBI seized the van for further testing. All five were later released at the instigation of Israeli & American Jewish leaders, some in the US Government. Details are still classified. This incident quickly disappeared from the mainstream media, following a brief mention in the New York Times three days after the attacks, that was not followed up.

A second van was stopped on the approaches to the George Washington Bridge. As CBS's Dan Rather said in his live report: "Two suspects are in FBI custody after a truckload of explosives were discovered around the George Washington Bridge. That bridge links New York to New Jersey over the Hudson River. Whether the discovery of those explosives had anything to do with other events today is unclear, but the FBI, has two suspects in hand, said the truckload of explosives, enough explosives were in the truck to do great damage to the George Washington Bridge " Those suspects –also Israelis -- and the incident then seem to have disappeared from the public record and mainstream media "examinations" <sic.> of 9/11, just like discussions of the first van, the secondary explosions at ground level within WTC-1 and WTC-2, and the precipitous collapse into its own footprint of WTC-7.'

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28438.htm

I think that Kevin Ryan has done some of the best work in trying to identify legitimate suspects for 9/11, and proposes a 'private intelligence network' which spans several countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia, UAE ).

I think there is a strong case made by Sabrosky and others that 'The Big Wedding' ' wedded Neocon philosophy with 500 years of Atlanticism'.

I keep banging the drum that seeks to sound out the need for the Left to come to terms with this history. I contend that they will not 'get anywhere' in the 21st century unless or until they do.

mog ,

@Admin

Does this network include the US/UK or any NATO countries? Yes.

rogermorris ,

absolutely agreed. the more nuanced reality is where Karl ROVE delivered us..("We are empire now we create new realities..") which is why the adults in Moscow have so far deflected these egregious false flags generated by the MI6 Britprop WhiteHelmets®.con atrocity troupe.

Because they KNOW whats going on.

Thierry Meysson wrote one of the very first books on false flag 911, the event beginning WW3 (911. The big LIE) He is a voice highly regarded. The ugly intentions of the anglozionist hegamon, loudly expressed as they slapped the Patriot Act into homeland 'Law' – to smash the middle East by all and any means (Strategy of Tension [NATO:GLADIO] YINON and 'Full Spectrum Dominance' methods/R2P, P2OG, IIO) ushered in on the LIE of 911 casus belli; was not lost on Russian and Chinese intelligence ; nor on anyone listening.

[Dec 09, 2019] WADA are threatening to exclude Russia from all sorts of events. I get the impression that Russia may be trailing its coat here, at a time when the OPCW news comes out in drips and drabs

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Montreal , Dec 8 2019 18:32 utc | 17

There has been quite a lot recently in RT about the sports doping scandal and how WADA are threatening to exclude Russia from all sorts of events. I get the impression that Russia may be trailing its coat here, at a time when the OPCW news comes out in drips and drabs. So maybe some bargaining is going on behind the scenes.

On quite another tack I came across this lovely conversation - translated from a contemporary record on papyrus - between the Roman Emperor Commodus and the head of the Alexandria Gymnasium (main school.) I think this is 2nd century AD.

Emperor: Do you know who you are talking to?
Head: Yes I know, I am speaking to a tyrant.
Emperor: No, to a monarch
Head: Do not say that. Your divine father Marcus Aurelius had the proper qualities of an emperor. Listen! - First, he was a philosopher; second, he did not love money; third, he loved the good. In you there are the reverse of these qualities: tyranny, hatred of the good, common ignorance.

(He was then led off to be executed). (From City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish, by Peter Parsons)

Makes you think about our current rulers. In the UK, Clement Attlee seems to comes closest to the ideal.

David K , Dec 8 2019 21:21 utc | 39

@ Montreal | Dec 8 2019 18:32 | 17
"sports doping scandal and how WADA are threatening to exclude Russia"

There is some suggestion that the LIMS database had been hacked, with
the hacks / changes being ascribed to Russia, but in fact originating
from parties intent on discrediting Russia..

STUXNET was a sophisticated Government (Israeli / US ) effort to
attack Iran's centrifuge program. Stuxnet's design and architecture
are not domain-specific and can be adapted to other industrial targets.

Such as a LIMS system - often a unprotected visual interface to an SQL database

It is unlikely that the very capable team that gave us Stuxnet has been sitting around
bored and idle, with such a juicy target available

[Dec 09, 2019] The UK ministry of Defence has searched its files and records of the blood sampling and testing for Novichok in the blood of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but "failed to locate any information that provides the exact time that the samples were collected."

So those devious Brits injected Novichok directly into blood samples. nice...
Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Juan Moment , Dec 8 2019 15:11 utc | 4
John Helmer @ Dances with Bears:
A British Ministry of Defence document, issued on March 12 but unnoticed since then, reports the ministry has searched its files and records of the blood sampling and testing for Novichok in the blood of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but "failed to locate any information that provides the exact time that the samples were collected."

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is the parent organization for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the UK's chemical warfare centre at Porton Down. Porton Down, as the laboratory is usually known, is the source of British evidence that Novichok was detected in the bloodstreams of the two Skripals. [...]

If Gardiner's report of March 12 is true, then this is MOD's official admission there is no chain of custody for the blood samples on which the Novichok allegation has been based. If Gardiner is lying, then the ministry's reason is obvious: the samples which were taken from the Skripals in Salisbury Hospital did not reveal that their blood was contaminated by what Porton Down and Prime Minister May later claimed was Novichok. [...]

http://johnhelmer.org/british-defence-ministry-document-reveals-skripal-blood-evidence-is-missing-fake-chain-of-custody-makes-novichok-evidence-worthless/

[Dec 09, 2019] Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pogohere , Dec 9 2019 1:25 utc | 57

john brewster @ 18

Speaking of Shane Gustafson: this is an excellent book:

Crisis amid Plenty: The Politics of Soviet Energy under Brezhnev and Gorbachev (Princeton Legacy Library) Paperback – February 1, 1991

Although the Soviet Union has the most abundant energy reserves of any country, energy policy has been the single most disruptive factor in its industry since the mid-1970s. This major case study treats the paradox of the energy crisis as an essential part of larger economic problems of the Soviet Union and as a key issue in determining the fate of the Gorbachev reforms.

One of the theses of the book is that the Soviet industry had a "silo" structure: the various components (exploration, drilling, production, transport, export) didn't coordinate with one another and depended on the glue of communist party apparatchiks to keep the system functioning. Gorbachev is said to have eliminated that glue and chaos ensued.

Schmoe@ 36

Re: "Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity."

[Dec 09, 2019] We will see on Nordstream 2 sanctions' effectiveness. Generally, US sanctions, when aggressively enforced, are extremely effective (and lethal in many cases).

Notable quotes:
"... The sanctions against Russia are not that broad but they have impacted Russian energy E&P efforts in difficult to reach environments. ..."
"... That is just common sense...large Euro energy companies are partners in Nordstream and have invested billions...do you think they are just going to throw up their hands and say 'Ok we give up'...? ..."
"... And supposedly the owners of those ships [there is actually only one company in the world, Swiss-based Allseas, that operates these deep sea pipe-laying ships] are going to drop Nordstream because they don't want to lose potential US business in the Gulf of Mexico... ..."
"... That is bullshit...what pipelines are being planned for the Gulf...?...Zero... ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Dec 8 2019 20:32 utc | 35

@ 17 in re "...strong Nordstream 2 sanctions..."

We shall see how strong. I'd put money on the Germans doing business with their natural Eastern partners. Business is business, suzerain occupation since 75 years notwithstanding.

Actually I harbor doubts about the strength of imperial ability, as the natural reaction every time they use dollarweapon, is the weakening of the weapon...

That Good Man V Putin, I'm sure we all recall, recently spoke to this matter...signing off with "they (or the dollar) will collapse soon."

zerohedge > "The Dollar Enjoyed Great Trust Around The World. But For Some Reason It Is Being Used As A Political Weapon, Imposing Restrictions. Many Countries Are Now Turning Away From The Dollar As A Reserve Currency. US Dollar Will Collapse Soon."


Schmoe , Dec 8 2019 20:50 utc | 36

karlof1, c1ue

We will see on Nordstream 2 sanctions' effectiveness. Generally, US sanctions, when aggressively enforced, are extremely effective (and lethal in many cases). The sanctions against Russia are not that broad but they have impacted Russian energy E&P efforts in difficult to reach environments.

I would also add that:

a) LNG prices are currently at incredibly low levels and if they hold at these levels importation of LNG could minimize Germany's hit, and Qatar last week announced it will expands its LNG export capabilities;

b) Russia / Gazprom did not finance Nordstream 2's construction; initially I believe Gazprom did so but a consortium of 4 Netherlands (including Royal Dutch Shell), Austrian and German companies later assumed the financing obligation;

c) Due to an EU ruling related to foreign-affiliated pipelines (or some variation of that), it will likely be forced to operate at 50% of capacity.

Based on a) - c) there is much less than meets to eye for Nordstream 2.

A more likely outcome than violation of US sanction IMO is an asymmetric response from Germany; perhaps the EU aviation authorities will deny whatever Band Aid Boeing puts our for the 737 Max's MCAS system. Or Germany approves Huawei's 5g equipment.

Schmoe , Dec 9 2019 3:42 utc | 63
@pogohere

I'm not sure how I missed those Nov 16 posts so thanks for forwarding. This quote will be interesting:

"With some 85% of the pipeline already laid, new congressional sanctions aimed at companies participating in the pipeline's construction will not stop it.

Instead, they will become a new bone of contention between the United States and Europe.

That is just common sense...large Euro energy companies are partners in Nordstream and have invested billions...do you think they are just going to throw up their hands and say 'Ok we give up'...?

Even a child can see this Spiegel diarrhea for what it is...

And supposedly the owners of those ships [there is actually only one company in the world, Swiss-based Allseas, that operates these deep sea pipe-laying ships] are going to drop Nordstream because they don't want to lose potential US business in the Gulf of Mexico...

That is bullshit...what pipelines are being planned for the Gulf...?...Zero...

Yet the Russians are the world's gas and pipeline superpower and have more pipeline projects in the works...

As if Allseas is going to risk their biggest customer for some bullshit US sanctions...[they are also laying the Turkstream pipeline..."

Any company whose operations are all international will unfortunately have to think long and hard about losing accessing to dollars. Open violations of US Sanctions are still almost unheard of - Rosneft in Venezuala, Reliance Industries might now be buying Venezuelan oil - so I would not be pollyanish about their power. Note that European companies will not use Instinex out of fear of losing access to dollars.

mk , Dec 9 2019 8:10 utc | 74
@Nick 58

Your questions are absolutely justified. The original story was written by Georg Mascolo, the German Dana Milbank, i.e. the chief mouth piece of the intelligence services. This is an obvious attempt to put pressure on Merkel to hamper relations with "Evil Russia" just prior to a possible breakthrough in the Normandy talks. The German services, especially the BND, are the last strongholds of Transatlanticism here, and they try to brace themselves against any rapprochment between Russia and Germany. But this will be in vain. It's simply that the geopolitical imperative is too strong: the two countries fit together perfectly in terms of their respective needs and abilities.

[Dec 09, 2019] Does Trump masterfully trolling the Deep State or he is such an idiot that this occurred as a side effect of his idiotism?

Notable quotes:
"... The way I see it now he basically had the backing of big Jewish gangstas like Adelson plus his own charisma resonated with a lot of people plus the fact that what self-respecting human on earth could vote for the she-devil Hillary ? ..."
"... I think too a lot of people were sick of Obama who was clearly one of the greatest con artists of all time President Hopium, as Mike Whitney tagged him ..."
"... So other than his rich Jewish friends The Donald really is pretty much alone except for a very lot of regular folks and I mean right across the socio-economic spectrum it's not just the blue collar folks, but a lot of people I know in my own profession [and others] ..."
"... So all things considered, I think Trump has actually made some pretty spectacular plays considering he is a one-man football team LOL ..."
"... As for Trump I think he's going to be re-elected the 'resistance' is just making themselves look incredibly bad they are getting up everyone's fucking nose and even Pelosi, as she was standing there the other day announcing the 'impeachment' darn well knew it they are toast ..."
"... I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental. ..."
"... The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment. ..."
"... Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar. ..."
"... Trump is a thief and an occupier in Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries. Only dummies think that he is a man of 'peace'. Only impostors spread lies that he wants to bring 'peace' but the 'deep state' does not allow. In fact the phony 'deep state' does not want war with Iran because knows that they will never win, only chaos. Israel wants war, and his servant Trump is pushing for one. ..."
"... I agree with you about all those examples Ukraine, Venezuela, even Iran seem to be a case of giving 'his' neocon 'team' enough rope to hang themselves while POTUS holds the hammer and ultimately gives a big NAY to going kinetic and then the whole thing crumbles into cracker crumbs ..."
"... On 1 May, Mosaddegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, canceling its oil concession (expired in 1993) and expropriating its assets. ..."
"... In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mossadegh. On 4 April 1953, Allen Dulles approved $1 million to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh". Soon the CIA's Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh. ..."
"... The zionized "progressives" have a new battle cry -- "Putin is new Hitler." Worked great for Hillary Clinton, this model of "humanitarian" interventionist. ..."
"... It does not do any good for your brains to read the Atlantic Council's idiotic propaganda. It is the same as the "Integrity Initiative" production, the dirty and poisonous brew made on orders by NATO/MIC/the Lobby. ..."
"... When Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher could get hanged at Nuremberg in 1946 for crimes against humanity, I wonder, why not the likes of Amanpour? Guess history is written by the winning side. ..."
"... Say hello to more than a century of perpetual war for profit. The Deep State, consisting of Jewish bankers and their hanger-ons, has been calling the shots since passage of the Federal Reserve Act in the closing hours of 1913, while most members of Congress were home on holiday recess. ..."
"... The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes. ..."
"... The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB says: Website December 7, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT 600 Words @Erebus

I had assumed that a real outsider couldn't have gotten to his position and that they had a plan and would make a stand against the Empire's nomenclatura to try to turn the ship of state to face the coming crisis head on.

Everybody has a plan until they get hit in the face.–'Iron' Mike Tyson

Yes indeed E I think PCR has commented at length about how Trump just doesn't have anyone in his corner and yes, it is kind of surprising

Now the funny thing is that I too thought for the longest time there must be some kind of establishment faction behind the scenes that was backing the Trump agenda of getting real and changing course from an obvious dead end path

But I'm not so sure about that anymore Trump may indeed be the guy that 'wasn't supposed to win' as far as all the invisible heavyweights behind the curtain are concerned

The way I see it now he basically had the backing of big Jewish gangstas like Adelson plus his own charisma resonated with a lot of people plus the fact that what self-respecting human on earth could vote for the she-devil Hillary ?

I think too a lot of people were sick of Obama who was clearly one of the greatest con artists of all time President Hopium, as Mike Whitney tagged him

So other than his rich Jewish friends The Donald really is pretty much alone except for a very lot of regular folks and I mean right across the socio-economic spectrum it's not just the blue collar folks, but a lot of people I know in my own profession [and others]

But at this point it becomes abundantly clear that what Prof Cohen says here is what everybody knows the ' permanent foreign policy establishment' which is quite out in the open and neither 'deep' nor secret

For me that 'Anonymous' oped in the NYT was the milestone event that they could be that brazen and open about basically ripping the wheel out of the president's hands I mean that's brass they even called themselves the 'steady state' not even worried one bit about what that says about this sham 'democracy'

It's like everyone knows right and is cool with it ?

Amazing

So all things considered, I think Trump has actually made some pretty spectacular plays considering he is a one-man football team LOL

I point to the Syria almost-withdrawal which is in reality almost as good as a full withdrawal since the SAA has regained almost its entire northern border and the remaining fleck of a US footprint is a logistical and political impossibility

Let's face it for all the complainers [and yes, we've all got a lot of legit beefs] who the fuck would have been able to do even this anyone else would have escalated a long time ago this is the die-hard imperialist mentality of the neocons

I remember reading how some of these very people named here [including I think the harpy Fiona Hill] were mouth-foaming freaking out at the SDF leadership and literally breaking pencils in their face to try to stop them from accepting the lifesaver offered by the Russians and SAA, with the Turks bearing down on them

I mean these people are just NUTS they are simply not rooted in reality at some point you run into a brick wall going 500 miles an hour that is what awaits this crowd

As for Trump I think he's going to be re-elected the 'resistance' is just making themselves look incredibly bad they are getting up everyone's fucking nose and even Pelosi, as she was standing there the other day announcing the 'impeachment' darn well knew it they are toast

In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think

Erebus , says: December 7, 2019 at 10:34 am GMT

@FB

the 'permanent foreign policy establishment'

AKA, the Imperial Staff.

In the days of Kissinger, Baker, et al the Imperial Staff were well coached in the Calculus of Power, knew the limits to Empire and thrived within them. Since the end of history, and the apparent end of limits, policy makers had no more need of realists and their confusing calculations and analyses.

The US had power, and no-one else had any. That's all they needed to know, and set about creating new, wonderfully intoxicating realities. As Rove famously inverted the MO they'll act first, creating realities and the analysis and calculation can come later. In awe of their creations, they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang, with no understanding how they got there. Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.

In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think

I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental.

The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment.

If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar.

Fascinating.

anonymous [307] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 5:54 pm GMT
The latest zionist plan designed by Donald Trump and associate to zionist stooges Pompeo and Brian Hook, intend to expand the war against Iran, has been failed. Trump ordered fomenting riots using the poor citizen of these countries who are under the Jewish mafia economic sanction in Iraq, Iran and Lebanon to create choas for the expansion of Jewish mafia and Israel in the region that he is a member of. Trump expanded the WAR against these counties, axis of resistance, using the US treasury runs by dual citizens pro Israel, and then supporting a US/Israel/Saudi proxies in these counties funded by the Saudi Arabia – to kill the citizens who are fed up with economic pressure force upon them by the criminal Tribe and its stooge Trump, and to burn buildings to create chaos so Trump can use it against Iran. This project was funded by the MBS Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Brian Hook, a U.S. Special Representative for Iran, has done everything to satisfy his masters, the Jewish mafia and made a big HOOK to bring down Iran, but he couldn't and now they are trying to go after Iran with FABRICATED news, spreading lies that Iran has killed up to 1000 people.

Trump must answer his own crimes against humanity FIRST and then shut up and focus on US interest NOT a Israel interests, because he will be viewed as a fifth column.

Trump is a thief and an occupier in Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries. Only dummies think that he is a man of 'peace'. Only impostors spread lies that he wants to bring 'peace' but the 'deep state' does not allow. In fact the phony 'deep state' does not want war with Iran because knows that they will never win, only chaos. Israel wants war, and his servant Trump is pushing for one.

... ... ...

https://www.globalresearch.ca/iranian-unrest-cover-up-mass-killings-infowar-conspiracy/5696826

FB , says: Website December 7, 2019 at 7:03 pm GMT
@Erebus

they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang , with no understanding how they got there.

Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.

LOL that is quote-worthy E

What can I add here you've pretty much nailed 'er down to the floor

I agree with you about all those examples Ukraine, Venezuela, even Iran seem to be a case of giving 'his' neocon 'team' enough rope to hang themselves while POTUS holds the hammer and ultimately gives a big NAY to going kinetic and then the whole thing crumbles into cracker crumbs

If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing.

Yup the one-man football team and he's actually WINNING LOL

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT
@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

"CIA runs your country." -- Correct. As a subsidiary of Mossad.

Rubicon , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
@Priss Factor Over the years that we've been reading Dr. Cohen who has written about Russia, the US, etc., we've become more and more convinced that Dr. Cohen, as a Jew, refuses to come out in bold-faced print to tell the real truths; in this case The Ukraine.

If he were to do so, his Jewish brethren, as seen in The Deep State and in Ukraine would simply destroy this man. In effect, he's a milquetoast figure of little importance.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 7:36 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

"Chinese will soon become a majority in swaths of Russia; why not let them vote to secede & join the Han motherland?"

-- You think by the zionists' rules, whether the rules are applied in Palestine or Ukraine. Just give some efforts to learning the history of Russia and the history of Ukraine. You might also need to refresh your knowledge of the history of the Middle East, for good measure.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm GMT
@NegroPantera Leave the ancient civilization of Persia alone. Тhe US that had been messing with democratic development in Iran in the 1950-s. The "chosen" behave like homicidal maniacs towards Iran and cannot wait to see Americans dying for Eretz Israel project.

On 1 May, Mosaddegh nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, canceling its oil concession (expired in 1993) and expropriating its assets.

"Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries have yielded no results thus far. With the oil revenues, we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence."

In March 1953, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles directed the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which was headed by his younger brother Allen Dulles, to draft plans to overthrow Mossadegh. On 4 April 1953, Allen Dulles approved $1 million to be used "in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddegh". Soon the CIA's Tehran station started to launch a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh.

Bill Jones , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@refl The plan is the dissolution of Russia into half a dozen client states.
annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

The zionized "progressives" have a new battle cry -- "Putin is new Hitler." Worked great for Hillary Clinton, this model of "humanitarian" interventionist.

It does not do any good for your brains to read the Atlantic Council's idiotic propaganda. It is the same as the "Integrity Initiative" production, the dirty and poisonous brew made on orders by NATO/MIC/the Lobby.

Here are some of the Atlantic Council stars: Eliot Higgins (Bellingcat) and Anne Applebaum ("historian").

The exposing of the Integrity Initiative has just scratched the surface of what appears to be a much more sophisticated, insidious, and extremely online version of Operation Mockingbird.

You are on the wrong forum.

annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm GMT
@Erebus

"There are no patriots in Washington " -- So tragically true. Only profiteers.

anon [113] Disclaimer , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:01 pm GMT
@Erebus TULSI2020

"There are no patriots in Washington "

Don't be so sure. Note that Trump congratulated Tulsi on Kamala's demise. If she isn't the nominee, her mere presence in the campaign is a boon to Trump because she exposes the rot in the DNC . and the Empire.

Dem Establishment can't control me and that scares the hell out of them

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IC98dmTAKbM?feature=oembed

Vojkan , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT
@anonymous Because Israel is cautious not to cross a line beyond which Russia will have no choice but to retaliate. Contrary to Americans, Russians don't have a short fuse and don't feel the need to "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world she means business". Since Russia got involved, Israel's actions have had exactly zero effect on the course of events in Syria. Russia's goal is not to further ignite the Middle East. Overreacting to Israel's gesticulations would be counterproductive.
annamaria , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:59 pm GMT
@anonymous "The zionist WHORE, Christian Amanpour "

-- Christiane Amanpour is a valuable presstitute and a quite successful war-profiteer (net worth about $12.5 mln). "The Bloviations of Christiane Amanpour, Queen of Fake News:" https://off-guardian.org/2017/09/14/the-bloviations-of-christiane-amanpour-queen-of-fake-news/

Scum like Amanpour operating from within anti-imperialist countries are the reason why those places ever needed laws curtailing the hallowed "freedom of the press." Words ARE weapons, and the West knows this

Comments:

When Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher could get hanged at Nuremberg in 1946 for crimes against humanity, I wonder, why not the likes of Amanpour? Guess history is written by the winning side.

"Anissa Naoui takes on CNN presstitute Amanpour: CNN heavily redacts RT host's interview:" http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2015/10/anissa-naoui-takes-on-cnn-presstitute.html

Carroll Price , says: December 8, 2019 at 12:07 am GMT
Say hello to more than a century of perpetual war for profit. The Deep State, consisting of Jewish bankers and their hanger-ons, has been calling the shots since passage of the Federal Reserve Act in the closing hours of 1913, while most members of Congress were home on holiday recess.

Read; The Creature From Jekyll Island

Erebus , says: December 8, 2019 at 5:50 am GMT
@denk Relax denk.

The world is simply re-bifurcating into 2 camps. More specifically, the Anglo-World is splitting away from whatever parts it can't bring into their sphere of dominance. They couldn't dominate the whole playground, so they're taking their toys and carving out a corner of it for themselves.

The current demonisation of China and Russia sets the stage for the real split that will happen in the 2020s. Gotta get the sheeple used to the notion so that they will accept, even demand, bringing the Bamboo Curtain down when the time comes.

What we're seeing now in Europe, the M.E., S. America etc is nothing more than the Anglo-World's attempt to bring more along with them, and the RoW's attempts to minimize their success.

With people like these, who needs the ptb ???

The PTB needs the people, not the other way around. People are happy to believe anything that makes them comfortable. Instilling Sino/Russo-phobia in their otherwise empty heads is but the prelude to splitting them off from demonic Eurasia/Eastasia, and also so they'll be happy with whatever they get in Oceania.

They'll be living in the Free World again! Smaller this time around, but Freeeee!!!

It worked the last time. It'll work this time too. One stands in awe of how easy it is.

Meimou , says: December 9, 2019 at 1:06 am GMT
@FB BS

@Realist
True. If he appointed all these banksters and neocons by mistake, then there should have been a few who weren't neocons or banksters. Making a lot of mistakes could be seen as proof of stupidity. Making nothing but mistakes has to be by design

That pos said that those who commit "hate crimes" should get the death penalty without trail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=ep3A0HvcI8w

3d chess right?

[Dec 09, 2019] Why is Putin silent against Israel repeated attack on Syria? Syria is an 'ally' of Russia, isn't it? And has a base in Syria, does not?

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Vojkan , says: December 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm GMT

@anonymous Because Israel is cautious not to cross a line beyond which Russia will have no choice but to retaliate. Contrary to Americans, Russians don't have a short fuse and don't feel the need to "pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world she means business".

Since Russia got involved, Israel's actions have had exactly zero effect on the course of events in Syria. Russia's goal is not to further ignite the Middle East. Overreacting to Israel's gesticulations would be counterproductive.

AnonFromTN , says: December 8, 2019 at 4:59 pm GMT
@Er e

Clamoring for retaliation. Putin only retaliated economically, although it was pretty bad for Turkey. The Uncle showed his "gratitude" by helping the coup. Putin likely forewarned the sultan about that coup, so it failed miserably as the result.

Now he holds sultan firmly by the balls, economically, politically, and militarily, using Turks to push the US around in Syria and selling them S-400, so that Uncle won't be able to "democratically" bomb Turkey.

That's the game worthy of the Grand Master, while Trump and pathetic Europeans play checkers, at best (their game often degenerates to the level of tick-tack-toe).

[Dec 08, 2019] Saudi Arabia - a family holding company, not a friend. - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Dec 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Donald Trump is driven by desire to sweeten the balance sheet of the US as well as a deluded belief in whatever it is that he thinks Israel stands for. Israel seeks to manipulate the medieval barbarism of Saudi Arabia to further its fantasy of regional hegemony. They should "wise up."

The Saudi who killed three people at Pensacola is representative of the breed.

It is time for a basic re-appraisal of our relationships in the ME. pl


blue peacock , 07 December 2019 at 09:33 PM

Col. Lang,

It seems the Gulf Arab sheikhs and the Al Saud family have been writing big checks to all the movers & shakers in the West, including the political and governmental elites, think tank sinecures, and of course many media personalities.

Tony Balir became a wealthy man with the money of the sheikhs. In an earlier thread you had posted, we read about the Lebanese man who was a conduit for Gulf arab money going to Hillary's campaign. Then there was the post-9/11 Republican administration of George Bush who along with the so-called liberal media and most members of Congress from both parties put a complete kibosh on investigating any Saudi role with respect to the 11 out of 15 terrorists of Saudi nationality.

We can see how Trump is already covering for the Saudis by saying the King was apologetic and will compensate all those killed and injured by the Saudi airman in Pensacola.

When American and western leaders are so easily purchased by the sheikhs, how can we have a re-appraisal of our relationships in the ME? The few who are calling for such a re-appraisal like Tulsi Gabbard are being smeared as Russian bots.

oldman22 , 08 December 2019 at 11:57 AM
Col Lang, you taught at West Point.
So I am wondering if you have a view of Tim Bakken's new book:
The Cost of Loyalty: Dishonesty, Hubris, and Failure in the U.S. Military
I am not trying to argue here, I have only been at West Point as an athlete competing against it.
Bakken book reviewed here:
https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/12/west-point-professor-builds-a-case-against-the-u-s-army/
Mathias Alexander , 08 December 2019 at 01:01 PM
If the USA withdraws support from the Saudis then the Saudis might stop pricing their oil only in dollars. What effect would this have on the value of the dollar? Then again how much oil is left in Saudi Arabia? The ARAMCO shares sell off doesn't seem to be doing great buisness, maybe the market understands the situation better.
Elora Danan , 08 December 2019 at 02:59 PM
Pat, could I ask you a question?

It is a bit off-topic. but not so...in the end...

Just finished viewing he three part series on CIA, The Company , and as you always tell the hell about current CIA situation...

HK Leo Strauss , 08 December 2019 at 05:40 PM
Col Lang,

Would you have been in a position at the time to know if there there were any Carter Doctrine contrarians within the FP/IC/DoD establishment in the late 70's? Curious how extensive the debate over deeper ME engagement was at the time, or if it was all just a knee-jerk reaction to Revolutionary Iran.

[Dec 08, 2019] As Winter Comes Pipeline Wars Heat Up -- Strategic Culture

Dec 08, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Tom Luongo December 8, 2019 © Photo: Wikimedia For all of 2019 December has been a magnet. A number of major geopolitical issues come to head this month and many of them have everything to do with energy. This is the month that Russian gas giant Gazprom was due to finish production on three major pipeline projects – Nordstream 2, Turkstream and Power of Siberia.

Power of Siberia is here. It's finished. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping christened the pipeline to begin the month. Next month Putin will travel to Turkey to join President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to open the first of four potential trains of the Turkstream pipeline.

It is only Nordstream 2 that continues to lag behind because of insane levels of pressure from the United States that is dead set against this pipeline coming online.

And the reason for that is the last of the major energy issues surrounding Gazprom needing resolution this month, the gas transit contract between it and Ukraine's Naftogaz.

The two gas companies have been locked in legal disputes for years, some of which center on Crimea's decision to break away from Ukraine and rejoin Russia in 2014. Most of them, however, involve disputes over costs incurred during the previous and expiring gas transit contract.

The particulars today are ultimately irrelevant as these lawsuits have been used as nothing more than blackmail to keep a new contract from getting signed. Ukraine has sued Gazprom in courts, like in Sweden, that rule not by the tenets of contract law but rather through the lens of social justice.

These have been political decisions that allowed Naftogaz to seize Gazprom's European assets, further complicating any resolution to the conflict. These policies were pursued aggressively by former Ukrainian President and long-time US State Department asset Petro Poroshenko and they have done nothing to help Ukraine.

All they have done is strip-mine the country of its assets while keeping a war to prevent the secession of the Donbass alive.

This dovetails with the external pressure applied to EU member states, like Denmark, to delay if not outright thwart completion of Nordstream 2.

Opposition to Nordstream 2 in the US is all about leveraging influence in Ukraine and turn it into a client state hostile to Russia sharing a border with Russia. If there's no gas transit contract and there's no Nordstream 2 then US LNG suppliers can sell gas there and deprive Russia of the revenues and the business.

It's truly that simple. But that strategy has morphed over the years into a convoluted chess match of move/countermove in the vain hope of achieving something that looks like a victory. But this isn't a game of real chess but rather a timed match.

Because the end of 2019 was always coming. And Ukraine would eventually have to decide as to which direction it wanted to go. Moreover, that same choice was put in front of the EU who have clearly, in the end, realized that the US under President Trump is not a long-term reliable partner, but rather a bully which seeks its goals through threat and intimidation.

Stay with the US or green light Nordstream 2. The choice in Europe was clear. Nordstream 2 gets finished, as Denmark finally granted the final environmental permit for its construction in October.

That delay moves the completion date out into 2020. And that now gives the US Senate one last chance to stop the completion of the pipeline because everything else to this point has failed, including the EU changing the rules on its gas pipeline rules to force Gazprom to 'unbundle' the pipeline from the gas flowing through it.

Germany amended that directive to allow Nordstream 2 to be regulated at the German federal level and not at the EU level. This was as much of a win as could have been hoped for.

This prompted the response from the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee head Jim Risch who wants to sanction anyone assisting Gazprom building the pipeline to be sanctioned and forced out of business.

"The reason for the push is that this window is closing. A lot of Nord Stream is done already. It will cost them dearly. I think if those sanctions pass [the companies] will shut down, and I think the Russians will have to look for another way to do this if they can do this," Risch said.

In reality the window has closed.

At the end of the day even if this legislation passes there will be no way to stop the pipeline from being completed or the gas to flow through it. With so little of the pipeline left to complete there is no practical way to stop it from happening. Risch and other US senators are hoping to strand Nordstream 2 as an unfinished boondoggle but that's folly.

The German government wants this pipeline, therefore the German government will put up the funds to ensure the contractors are paid and the pipeline completed.

There is a limit to the extent which sanctions can block commerce and once completed the US will have no ability to sanction the gas flowing through the pipeline. It's a sad and pathetic state of affairs that so much time, manpower and capital was wasted to stop a pipeline that is necessary for Germany's future.

It also highlights the hypocrisy of US policy since there isn't a peep out of the US on Turkstream, which will stitch NATO ally Turkey to Russia via 15.75 cm of natural gas every year. Eventually it will replace the lost South Stream pipeline as the other trains are built and contracted for.

All of the countries in eastern Europe are hungry for a piece of Turkstream's future. Serbia Hungary, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece are all potential customers.

And all of these countries that currently get their gas from Ukraine are at risk if nothing gets resolved between it and Russia. This is why the meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky is so important. It has the opportunity to begin reversing the damage done to the basic fabric of Ukraine and Europe by agreeing to a path to ending the war in the Donbass and coming to an agreement on gas transit.

There are more than $12 billion in lawsuits outstanding that Naftogaz has pending against Gazprom. With Nordstream 2 a fait accompli that is all the leverage Zelensky has at that meeting.

This game is a microcosm of the way the US foreign policy establishment uses Europe as the battleground in the war against Russia. And given the way the political winds are shifting, Europeans are getting very tired of it.

This is why gas storage facilities in Europe are full, there is real fear that Gazprom will walk away from the talks with Ukraine and will wait out the completion of Nordstream 2. Gazprom offered an extension of the current contract on the condition that Ukraine drop the lawsuits.

Naftogaz said no. We'll see if Zelensky is smart enough to say yes.

[Dec 08, 2019] Putin did it again: Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops

Dec 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Pentagon Alarmed Russia Is Gaining 'Sympathy' Among US Troops by Tyler Durden Sun, 12/08/2019 - 17:40 0 SHARES

An alarmist headline out of US state-funded media arm Voice of America : "Pentagon Concerned Russia Cultivating Sympathy Among US Troops". The story begins as follows:

Russian efforts to weaken the West through a relentless campaign of information warfare may be starting to pay off, cracking a key bastion of the U.S. line of defense: the military. While most Americans still see Moscow as a key U.S. adversary, new polling suggests that view is changing, most notably among the households of military members .

Remember when Russia bombed Belgrade back to the middle ages, invaded and occupied Iraq, started an eighteen-year long quagmire in Afghanistan, created anarchy in Libya, funded and armed al-Qaeda in Syria, and expanded its bases right up to US borders? Neither do we.

File image via EPA/NBC

Perhaps American soldiers are simply sick and tired of the US military and intelligence machine's legacy of ashes across the globe and recognize the inconvenient fact that Russia most often has been on the complete opposite side of Washington's disastrous regime change wars .

Nothing to see here...

The second annual Reagan National Defense Survey, completed in late October, found nearly half of armed services households questioned, 46%, said they viewed Russia as ally .

Overall, the survey found 28% of Americans identified Russia as an ally, up from 19% the previous year .

...While a majority, 71% of all Americans and 53% of military households, still views Russia as an enemy, the spike in pro-Russian sentiment has defense officials concerned . -- VOA

Perhaps US military households are also smart enough to know the Cold War is long over, and only bad things can come from a direct confrontation with Russia, not to mention that involvement in proxy war in Ukraine has nothing to do with America's national defense or to "protect and defend the Constitution" .

To be expected, the VOA's presentation of the new poll which finds more service members are 'sympathetic' to Russia is heavy on the supposed 'Trump-Russia nexus' narrative and emphasizes an uptick in Kremlin propaganda, while failing to acknowledge a failed legacy of 'endless wars' and destabilizing US influence across the globe.

It's 2019, and US solders are still in Iraq. Image via Getty/NYT

The poll itself claimed the changing numbers were "predominantly driven by Republicans who have responded to positive cues from [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump about Russia."

"There is an effort, on the part of Russia, to flood the media with disinformation to sow doubt and confusion ," DoD spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Carla Gleason was cited in the VOA report as saying. Ah yes, a few Kremlin-sponsored Facebook posts and Trump's expressed desire for better relations with Putin, and suddenly the military too is 'pro-Putin'! apparently.

Perhaps the "doubt and confusion" comes via trillion dollar endless wars of regime change and pointless occupations which cost American lives? In other words, this is not a 'Russia problem' at all, but lies too close to home for Washington pundits and pollsters to admit.

* * *

Finally, we should ask, would US military members see in today's foreign policy adventurism anything remotely resembling John Quincy Adams' famous 1821 admonition?

" But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example. She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.... She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit..."

[Dec 08, 2019] About making stratinc decition by chichenhawks like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

JoaoAlfaiate , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:44 am GMT

From page 12 of Martyanov's RRMA, " people such as Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, none of whom had spent a day serving in cadre officer uniform "

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years and retired from the Navy Reserve as a full Captain.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 1:50 pm GMT
@JoaoAlfaiate

Rumsfeld was in fact a Naval Aviator who flew ASW aircraft for a number of years

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science. That sure qualifies him for making strategic decisions, right? Especially in the 21st century. Well, we all saw results, didn't we?

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 2:19 pm GMT
@Jim Christian Jim, a lot of truth in what you say. But especially this:

As for the military? A reflection of our society. When I went into the Navy in 1975, it was Stars and Stripes and we served in large part for Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Here is a quote from one of Russian undercover intelligence assets which was outed when Anna Chapman was outed. Unlike her, however, this guy was a real deal. Here is what he had to say recently about US:

What is THEIR weakness? As enemies these guys are mediocrities, second rate. They overate. Their previous generation was stronger. They respected us, we respected them. We don't respect these ones,they didn't deserve it. They can bully, as for the real fight–we'll see about that They are enraged that soon they will have to live within their means.They forgot how to do so long time ago. That is why they want to solve a problem with us now, while others are still afraid of them.

here is an original in Russian, just in case.

https://vz.ru/opinions/2018/5/4/920955.html?utm_campaign=transit&utm_source=mirtesen&utm_medium=news&from=mirtesen

I remember 70s and 80s clearly, being myself a Cold Warrior, these were different times. many different people. Today, as you say, I see decay everywhere in everything, the country (the US) was literally robbed, people blinded and all for a reasons of bottom line in "business" and for Israel's, Saudi and corporate interests. The America I encountered in 1990s is gone.

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 3:46 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov

A Tracker, in 1950s for a couple of years, while having a degree in Political Science.

Rummy flew a Stoof? Git the farg outta here? I thought he only had balls with OTHER people's lives..

[Dec 08, 2019] WSJ Article Runs Through The Greatest Hits of a Dysfunctional Foreign Policy Debate

Notable quotes:
"... Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force. ..."
"... These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved. ..."
"... September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it. ..."
"... For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific." ..."
"... The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. ..."
"... This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com . ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The unrivaled and unchallenged exertion of American military power around the world, or what's known as "primacy," has been the basis for U.S. Grand Strategy over the past 70 years and has faced few intellectual and political challenges. The result has been stagnant ideas, poor logic, and an ineffective foreign policy. As global security challenges have evolved, our foreign policy debate has remained in favor of primacy, repeatedly relying on a select few, poorly conceived ideas and arguments. Primacy's greatest hits arguments are played on repeat throughout the policy and journalism worlds and its latest presentation is in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, written by its chief foreign policy correspondent, titled, "America Can't Escape the Middle East." The piece provides a case study in how stagnant these ideas have become, and how different actors throughout the system present them without serious thought or contemplation.

Hyping the threat of withdrawal

The WSJ piece trotted out one of the most well-worn cases for unending American military deployments in the region. "The 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be a debacle," it rightly notes. However, there's always a "but":[B]ut subsequent attempts to pivot away from the region or ignore it altogether have contributed to humanitarian catastrophes, terrorist outrages and geopolitical setbacks, further eroding America's standing in the world."

Primacists often warn of the dire security threats that will result from leaving Middle East conflict zones. The reality is that the threats they cite are actually caused by the unnecessary use of force by the United States in the first place. For example, the U.S. sends military assets to deter Iran, only to have Iran increase attacks or provocations in response. The U.S. then beefs up its military presence to protect the forces that are already there. Primacists use the security threats that are responding to the unnecessary use of U.S. military force to justify why the U.S. shouldn't stop, or in fact increase, the use of force.

These stale arguments claim there will be consequences of leaving while conveniently ignoring the consequences of staying, which of course are far from trivial. For example, veteran suicide is an epidemics and military spending to perpetuate U.S. primacy continues at unnecessarily high rates. The presence of U.S. soldiers in these complex conflicts can even draw us into more unnecessary wars. The United States can engage the world in ways that don't induce the security dilemma to undermine our own security; reduce our military presence in the Middle East, engage Iran and other states in the region diplomatically and economically, and don't walk away from already agreed upon diplomatic arraignments that are favorable to all parties involved.

Terrorism safe havens

And how many times have we heard that we must defend some undefined geographical space to prevent extremists from plotting attacks? "In the past, jihadists used havens in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Iraq to plot more ambitious and deadly attacks, including 9/11," the WSJ piece says. "Though Islamic State's self-styled 'caliphate' has been dismantled, the extremist movement still hasn't been eliminated -- and can bounce back."

The myth of the terrorism safe havens enabling transnational attacks on the United States has persisted despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary and significant scholarly research that contradicts it. The myth persists because it provides a simple and comforting narrative that's easy to understand. September 11th was planned in Germany and the United States, the ability to exist in Afghanistan under the Taliban without persecution didn't enable 9/11, and denying this space wouldn't have prevented it.

Terrorists don't need safe havens to operate, and only gain marginal increases in capabilities by having access to them. Organizations engage in terrorism because they have such weak capabilities in the first place. These movements are designed to operate underground with the constant threat of arrest and execution. The Weatherman Underground in the United States successfully carried out bombings while operating within the United States itself. The Earth Liberation Front did the same by organizing into cells where no cell knew anything about the other cells to prevent the identification of other members if members of one cell were arrested. Organizations that engage in terrorism can operate with or without safe havens.

Although safe havens don't add significantly to a terrorist groups' capabilities, governing your own territory is something completely different. ISIS is a commonly used, and misused, example for why wars should be fought to deny safe havens. A safe haven is a country or region in which a terrorist group is free from harassment or persecution. This is different from what ISIS created in 2014. What ISIS had when it swept across Syria and Iraq in 2014 was a proto-state. This gave them access to a tax base, oil revenues, and governing resources. Safe havens don't provide any of this, at least not at substantial levels. The Islamic State's construction of a proto-state in Syria and Iraq did give them operational capabilities they wouldn't have had otherwise, but this isn't the same as the possible safe havens that would be gained from a military withdrawal from Middle Eastern conflicts. The conditions of ISIS's rise in 2014 don't exist today and the fears of an ISIS resurgence like their initial rise are unfounded .

Credibility doesn't work how you think it works

For those arguing to maintain the ongoing forever wars, American credibility will always be ruined in the aftermath of withdrawal. Here's the WSJ piece on that point: "When America withdraws from the Middle East unilaterally, the Russians internalize this and move into Crimea and Ukraine; the Chinese internalize it and move into the South China Sea and beyond in the Pacific."

Most commentators have made this claim without recognition of their own contradictions that abandoning the Kurds in Syria would damage American credibility. They then list all the other times we've abandoned the Kurds. Each of these betrayals didn't stop them from working with the United States again, and this latest iteration will be the same. People don't work with the United States because they trust or respect us, they do it because we have a common interest and the United States has the capability to get things done. As we were abandoning the Kurds this time to be attacked by the Turks, Kurdish officials were continuing to share intelligence with U.S. officials to facilitate the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi because both the United States and the Kurds wanted Baghdadi eliminated and only the United States had the capability to get it done.

Similarly, the idea that pulling out militarily in one region results in a direct chain of events where our adversaries move into countries or areas in a completely different region is quite a stretch of the imagination. Russia moved into Crimea because it's a strategic asset and it was taking advantage of what it saw as an opportunity: instability and chaos in Kiev. Even if we left troops in every conflict country we've ever been in, Russia would have correctly assessed that Ukraine just wasn't important enough to spark a U.S. invasion. When the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, did the United States invade Cuba? What alliance did the Soviets or Chinese abandon before the United States entered the Korean War? Assessments of credibility , especially in times of crisis (like that in Ukraine), are made based on what leaders think the other country's interests are and the capabilities they have to pursue those interests. There is no evidence to support -- in fact there is a lot of evidence that contradicts -- the idea that withdrawing militarily from one region or ending an alliance has any impact on assessments of a country's reliability or credibility.

Not all interests are created equal

Threat inflation isn't just common from those who promote a primacy-based foreign policy, it's necessary. Indeed, as the WSJ piece claimed, "There is no avoiding the fact that the Middle East still matters a great deal to U.S. interests."

The exorbitant costs of the U.S.'s numerous military engagements around the world need to be justified by arguing that they secure vital U.S. interests. Without it, Primacists couldn't justify the cost in American lives. Whether the military even has the ability to solve all problems in international relations aside, not all interests are equal in severity and importance. Vital interests are those that directly impact the survival of the United States. The only thing that can threaten the survival of the United States is another powerful state consolidating complete control of either Europe or East Asia. This would give them the capabilities and freedom to strike directly at the territorial United States. This is why the United States stayed in Europe after WWII, to prevent the consolidation of Europe by the Soviets. Addressing the rise of China -- which will require some combination of cooperation and competition -- is America's vital interest today and keeping troops in Afghanistan to prevent a terrorism safe haven barely registers as a peripheral interest. There are U.S. interests in the Middle East, but these interests are not important enough to sacrifice American soldiers for and can't easily be secured through military force anyway.

Consequences

Most of these myths and arguments can be summarized by the claim that any disengagement of any kind by the United States from the Middle East comes with consequences. This isn't entirely wrong, but it isn't really relevant either unless compared with the consequences of continuing engagement at current levels. We currently have 67,000 troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan and those troops are targets of adversaries, contribute to instability, empower hardliners in Iran, and provide continuing legitimacy to insurgent and terrorist organizations fighting against a foreign occupation. One article in The Atlantic argued that the problem with a progressive foreign policy is that restraint comes with costs, almost ironically ignoring the fact that the U.S.'s current foreign policy also comes with, arguably greater, costs. A military withdrawal, or even drawdown, from the Middle East does come with consequences, but it's only believable that these costs are higher than staying through the perpetuation of myths and misconceptions that inflate such risks and costs. No wonder then that these myths have become the greatest hits of a foreign policy that's stuck in the past.

This article originally appeared on LobeLog.com .

[Dec 08, 2019] Jim Christian

Dec 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

says: December 6, 2019 at 2:48 am GMT 600 Words @Andrei Martyanov

but if you take away still viable American aerospace, automotive and pharmaceutical industries among very few others, you will find a wasteland of financial speculations and selling the snake oil

Lovely takes, Andrei. The people that need to read you see your name and immediately retort, "Agent for Putin", Washington Post-style. Gets them off the hook from thinking because after all, college deliberately taught them NOT to think. Most of the kids, they're hopeless. They're hopeless idiots, they know nothing of the Constitution, they think all is normal. And they were fleeced by the academics that dumbed them down. Meanwhile, we have in effect, been selling each other hamburgers (services) for the past 50 years. Also, they've been selling the oil and gas right out from under our feet overseas and putting THAT in their pockets even as we pay a world price for gasoline and finished product. Every other country that produces crude gets a discount. Not us. To steal a quote from a movie I watched once, they struck oil under our garden and all we get is dead tomatoes. Our society is hollowed out, depraved, the women becoming more and more hideous, all the institutions that held us together, deliberately broken. decay everywhere.

As for the military? A reflection of our society. When I went into the Navy in 1975, it was Stars and Stripes and we served in large part for Mom, Apple Pie and Chevrolet.

Today it is clear that the Stars and Stripes should be dollar signs over a defense contractor logo. The rest? From where I sit today, for most kids, Mom is a divorced slut, Apple Pie is a turd in a wax paper wrapper and Chevrolet is a bent shit can from China. This isn't a society I'd defend as a nation worth defending. The feminists sit on their fat, comfortable asses, made such on the labors of us White guys and they declare their hatred. Only a moron or a kid that needs a shot at a job or trade or gets a kick out of airplanes or such joins. Our women in general aren't worth defending on the streets or the world. Not in the Blue cities, they are hideous. Take care of your own wman and kids and community and hell with the rest. There's no draft, the society mostly hates Vets, so it isn't for country most serve. It's to grab something, from a trade, to a pilot's license. A military based on that has no staying power. And our corruptions and waste and outright theft in military procurement for shitty weapons makes us ripe for the taking. And our talent is wasted building shitty weapons and the second level builds shitty airliners. Can't fly into space? We cannot fly, literally, to anywhere in the newest build out, the Maxx. And we're depending on the Theranos of Aerospace, Spacex/Musk to get us to space? Right! Except for the nukes, we're ripe, man.

Andrei, speaking of Musk, how the Hell does he smoke big fat doobies and keep his security clearance when everyone else in Washington gets fired for getting near the stuff? Queer privilege? I'm convinced the whole thing with Musk is a shell game. You?

Thanks for your work. Very good stuff, but we can't get those who need it to even look. Our people are incapable of marching in the streets or even seeing why they should. Kudos to those who did it to us. They did a fine job. Read More Agree: Andrei Martyanov Replies: @Arioch , @Andrei Martyanov Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

Jim Christian , says: December 6, 2019 at 2:55 am GMT

@Frederick V. Reed It has a dangerous set of nukes. The tripwires are and have always been easy-sinkers like our surface ships. The psychos that run our policy have subs and silos with missiles with lots of nukes.

It's a dangerous game to consider a dopey thought like that Fred. Bet your ass Russia sees plenty of military here to defend against. Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, to them it was impossible, we killed millions. There's enough military here that Israel wants and has harnessed it. In what universe do you reside Fred? Ah yes, the moon name of Tequila. Fred? Go drink something. Jesus.

[Dec 08, 2019] What is our strength? by Andrey Bezrukov

Redacted Google translation...
This is the net result of Clinton policies and neocon dominance in the USA foreign policy. And it is not a pretty picture. It might difficult to win Russia back as an ally after those Russiagate nonsense. They feel really offended by it and might overreact as is evident from the test below.
I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires, Empires also tend to have a very flexible conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.
The fact that the MSM have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news".
May 04, 2018 | vz.ru

It feels like the world has gone crazy. They push someone's wallet in our pocket, and then shout "catch the thief!". We try to debunt this false flag, show surveillance footage, which clearly shows the setup. But the continue shout in chorus - " thief, thief, thief!". Acquaintances turn away, hide their eyes. Those "Western partners" iare numerous and they silence our weak attempts to protest. We were driven into a corner... They try to strangulate us with sanctions.

Unfortunately, this is our new reality. For the next decade. The question is "Why?" Because we are a force in international arena again. We're ruining their racketeering business. We are a vivid example that it is possible to escape the system of the global racket of which they feed, That there is an alternative.

So now there is a player who does not wan to pay the racketeers, And he is still alive. This means that others may not pay either. They hate such a situation, because other players may refuse to pay, and that also means that sooner or later they might be force to live within this own meanss. It has been a long time since they live within their means, and they completely lost the habit of doing so. So they want to "solve" the problem with us now ones and forever, while others are still afraid of them.

Plus they have a new gang leader. Like all newbies, he wants to be the toughest. And raises the stakes.

Let's face the truth. They won't let us go easily. It's pointless to explain. We will be hunted, subjected to the array of false flags, persecuted and sanctioned to death. And if they feel the slack – they will beta us to the death, much more thoroughly then they did in 1990th. The question of whether this can be avoided is no longer worth asking. Today we have one question – how to survive the next two decades?

We need finally exhale and turn on the brain... The key to victory, as Sun Tzu wrote – is in knowing the enemy and knowing yourself.

What is their strength?

First, there are many. And they have money. They can buy everything, including witnesses and judges. We'll be blamed for for anything; they will attack and we will be framed as the attacker.

Second, they scream loudly. In chorus. That control world mass communications. And their propaganda works. It is useless to argue otherwise. All our arguments are useless. They will fall of death ear and will be ignored. Nobody will question their validity -- they will be simply swipe under the carpet. No matter how ridiculous is their "version of events" is (Skripals, Russiagate, Ukrainegate) the label "the guilty party" is already put on us like a yellow patch on the Jews in Nazi Germany. Before any investigation or God forbid judicial process. And most people on the planet still take their word for it.

What is their weakness?

As opponents these guys, I mean their neoliberal elites are the second grade; they belong to the "grey zone", the zone of mediocrity. Too greedy, too arrogant, and too lazy. Sometime semi-senile. Their previous generation was much stronger. They respected us. And we them.

We do not respect this new neoliberal elite and they feel that. And we don't respect them because such mediocrities do not deserve our respect, and are not trustworthily partner. They generally can be classified as "Unable to adhere to any legal treaties" (Nedogovorosposobnie") . And that scares us, almost to death, because you need to deal with completely unpredictable, bizarre partner for whom treaties and agreements are not worth the paper they were printed on. But they will avoid open fight, unless the success guaranteed. We need to ensure that such situation never occur.

Their nervousness, their fidgeting, their second-rateness now is staring to be felt by other countries who would prefer to hedge their bet and join only a sure winner. They see that the outcome of the USA quest for Full Spectrum Dominance is not yet decided.

In addition, our opponents are now engaged in brutal showdown with each other. Western Europe recovered and became competitor of the USA. They also are openly laughing over their new chief. Half of the major Europium countries leadership probably hates him. For how long he can stay in power is completely unclear. But this is a new and unexpected development. .

And those in the second row, the stooges, are generally ready to escape from this virtual battlefield. It became too expensive to catch hot potatoes for Uncle Sam as the amount of loot for partners shrunk dramatically. And problems with neoliberalism at home mounted. Neoliberal chickens start coming to roost. They were promised money and a share of loot, not a beating in a real fight with a strong determined opponent.

What is our strength?

First of all we no longer have any illusions about the the USA or West in general, illusions that cost us so dearly in 1990th. They are predators who want to colonize, fleece and dismember our nation. An having no illusions means that they can't repeat economic rape they committed in 1990th. Now we know what awaits us if we give up. They'll devour us completely. Those gangsters will kick the lying opponent with feet until he is dead. They won't let us survive a second time.

We also have a grenade as the last resort. They know it, and they're terrified we'll pull the pin.

They don't understand how we can be defeated, so they try new ways to make us surrender without a fight. Looking for a weak spot.

What is our weakness?

Our first problem is that we are alone. We are a big and clumsy country with a lot of internal problems and convoluted history. Which refuse to became the USA vassal. We were a difficult neighbor in the past. Some people are afraid of us because or our past.

Our second and main problem is the lack of money for economic reconstruction. We don't have enough money for the restoration of the economy and the standard of living of our people after 1990th rape to the level we deserve as the major European country. Say the level the Germany managed to achieve, despite being defeated in WWII. And nobody is going to help us, at least on acceptable conditions. They will try to slow down our economic development by all mean possible. that's why they already imposed sanctions under bogus pretext. They will impose more to slow down the process. They will manipulate oil prices and engage us in "gas wars." If we can solve this problem and restore the economy and the standard of living of people after 1990 collapse other problems will be easier to take on.

Also a nice thing about having money is that you instantly have a lot of fiends ;-) At once.

Now some panoramic view on the situation like in oil painting.

First of all out willingness to fight back is a guarantee that they will not get into a real fight. We need to hold out for the next ten-twenty years or so. I think this is what we can expect for neoliberalism to last before the collapse.

But that doesn't solve all our problems. We need that they stop punching us with new sanctions. Better forever but, at least for the next twenty years. Until their racket finally falls apart.

So the second goal is to earn to earn money need to reconstruction of the economy and creating first class infrastructure. Which will allow us to grow. and we need to do this while there is time. That probably means that invest our money in growth and stop saving "for a rainy day" in US treasures and Western banks. Otherwise, this rainy day may come in a very unexpected fashion and way too soon: money will simply be confiscated as long as they can do it with impunity.

Andrey Bezrukov is the associate Professor of the chair of applied analysis of international problems, MGIMO

[Dec 07, 2019] Enough is enough. Viva Tulsi. Down with neocons. List of wars involving the United States

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 08:16 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

List of wars involving the United States

[Only the listed war names and dates copied without all the references and details.]

  1. American Revolutionary War - (1775–1783)
  2. Cherokee–American wars - (1776–1795)
  3. Northwest Indian War - (1785–1793)
  4. Shays' Rebellion - (1786–1787)
  5. Whiskey Rebellion - (1791–1794)
  6. Quasi-War - (1798–1800)
  7. Fries Rebellion - (1799–1800)
  8. First Barbary War - (1801–1805)
  9. 1811 German Coast Uprising - (1811)
  10. Tecumseh's War - (1811)
  11. War of 1812 - (1812–1815)
  12. Creek War - (1813–1814)
  13. Second Barbary War - (1815)
  14. First Seminole War - (1817–1818)
  15. Texas–Indian Wars - (1820–1875)
  16. Arikara War - (1823)
  17. Aegean Sea Anti-Piracy Operations of the United States - (1825–1828)
  18. Winnebago War - (1827)
  19. First Sumatran expedition - (1832)
  20. Black Hawk War - (1832)
  21. Texas Revolution - (1835–1836)
  22. Second Seminole War - (1835–1842)
  23. Second Sumatran expedition - (1838)
  24. Aroostook War - (1838)
  25. Ivory Coast expedition - (1842)
  26. Mexican–American War - (1846–1848)
  27. Cayuse War - (1847–1855)
  28. Apache Wars - (1851–1900)
  29. Bleeding Kansas - (1854–1861)
  30. Puget Sound War - (1855–1856)
  31. First Fiji expedition - (1855)
  32. Rogue River Wars - (1855–1856)
  33. Third Seminole War - (1855–1858)
  34. Yakima War - (1855–1858)
  35. Second Opium War - (1856–1859)
  36. Utah War - (1857–1858)
  37. Navajo Wars - (1858–1866)
  38. Second Fiji expedition - (1859)
  39. John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry - (1859)
  40. First and Second Cortina War - (1859–1861)
  41. Paiute War - (1860)
  42. American Civil War - (1861–1865)
  43. Yavapai War - (1861–1875)
  44. Dakota War of 1862 - (1862)
  45. Colorado War - (1863–1865)
  46. Shimonoseki War - (1863–1864)
  47. Snake War - (1864–1868)
  48. Powder River War - (1865)
  49. Red Cloud's War - (1866–1868)
  50. Formosa expedition - (1867)
  51. Comanche Campaign - (1867–1875)
  52. Korea expedition - (1871)
  53. Modoc War - (1872–1873)
  54. Red River War - (1874–1875)
  55. Las Cuevas War - (1875)
  56. Great Sioux War of 1876 - (1876–1877)
  57. Buffalo Hunters' War - (1876–1877)
  58. Nez Perce War - (1877)
  59. Bannock War - (1878)
  60. Cheyenne War - (1878–1879)
  61. Sheepeater Indian War - (1879)
  62. White River War - (1879–1880)
  63. Pine Ridge Campaign - (1890–1891)
  64. Garza Revolution - (1891–1893)
  65. Yaqui Wars - (1896–1918)
  66. Second Samoan Civil War - (1898–1899)
  67. Spanish–American War - (1898)
  68. Philippine–American War - (1899–1902)
  69. Moro Rebellion - (1899–1913)
  70. Boxer Rebellion - (1899–1901)
  71. Crazy Snake Rebellion - (1909)
  72. Border War - (1910–1919)
  73. Negro Rebellion - (1912)
  74. Occupation of Nicaragua - (1912–1933)
  75. Bluff War - (1914–1915)
  76. Occupation of Veracruz - (1914)
  77. Occupation of Haiti - (1915–1934)
  78. Occupation of the Dominican Republic - (1916–1924)
  79. World War I - (1914–1918)
  80. Russian Civil War - (1918–1920)
  81. Last Indian Uprising - (1923)
  82. World War II - (1939–1945)
  83. Korean War - (1950–1953)
  84. Laotian Civil War - (1953–1975)
  85. Lebanon Crisis - (1958)
  86. Bay of Pigs Invasion - (1961)
  87. Simba rebellion, Operation Dragon Rouge - (1964)
  88. Vietnam War - (1955–1964[a], 1965–1973[b], 1974–1975[c])
  89. Communist insurgency in Thailand - (1965–1983)
  90. Korean DMZ Conflict - (1966–1969)
  91. Dominican Civil War - (1965–1966)
  92. Insurgency in Bolivia - (1966–1967)
  93. Cambodian Civil War - (1967–1975)
  94. War in South Zaire - (1978)
  95. Gulf of Sidra encounter - (1981)
  96. Multinational Intervention in Lebanon - (1982–1984)
  97. Invasion of Grenada - (1983)
  98. Action in the Gulf of Sidra - (1986)
  99. Bombing of Libya - (1986)
  100. Tanker War - (1987–1988)
  101. Tobruk encounter - (1989)
  102. Invasion of Panama - (1989–1990)
  103. Gulf War - (1990–1991)
  104. Iraqi No-Fly Zone Enforcement Operations - (1991–2003)
  105. First U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (1992–1995)
  106. Bosnian War - (1992–1995)
  107. Intervention in Haiti - (1994–1995)
  108. Kosovo War - (1998–1999)
  109. Operation Infinite Reach - (1998)
  110. War in Afghanistan - (2001–present)
  111. 2003 invasion of Iraq - (2003)
  112. Iraq War - (2003–2011)
  113. War in North-West Pakistan - (2004–present)
  114. Second U.S. Intervention in the Somali Civil War - (2007–present)
  115. Operation Ocean Shield - (2009–2016)
  116. International intervention in Libya - (2011)
  117. Operation Observant Compass - (2011–2017)
  118. American-led intervention in Iraq - (2014–present)
  119. American-led intervention in Syria - (2014–present)
  120. Yemeni Civil War - (2015–present)
  121. American intervention in Libya - (2015–present)

{ finis }

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:25 AM
This list tells quite a story. It deserves a name such as "US History Written in Blood," but more ironically and yet sufficient would be "An Inconvenient List." In any case, mass murder for fun and profit has defined war throughout the entire history of humankind. That in the modern era of late that the US has pioneered rentier capitalism as a means of extracting profits from the industrial war machine is a matter of the natural evolution of state sanctioned murder, far better at returning profits to investors than the mere slaughter of stone age natives to steal their land.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:45 AM
Neoconservatives in this context are traditionalists rather than some aberration of modern political thought.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 08:50 AM
OTOH, pacifism is indeed an aberration of political thought, not necessarily an unwarranted aberration, yet one that should be subject to close inspection for its bona fides. My Cherokee ancestors inform me to always be suspect of the good intentions of white men claiming that they despise war.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:14 AM
Rome martyred Christians bc up to Constantine they were all "draft dodgers".
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 03, 2019 at 05:20 AM
Pacifism for me is individual. I was a cold warrior (pacifist not!) from '72 to '85 when I went from supporting operating weapons to the "dark side" in weapons development, which a lot was also nuclear related.
JohnH -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 07:59 AM
One of the first things that happened after Trump announced his withdrawal [not!] from Syria is that Pelosi hopped on a plane to Jordan:

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire."
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/20/nancy-pelosi-goes-to-jordan-for-vital-discussions-about-syria-crisis.html

I mean, what's with that?

It's pretty obvious that Team Pelosi is more concerned with the affairs of the Empire, even though she has no constitutional responsibility. than for the welfare of the American people. The focus of the impeachment hearing on American policy in Ukraine is further evidence.

Meanwhile, I have gotten no answer to my basic question: what are the top 5 pieces of progressive legislation that Pelosi has passed--legislation that representations can brag about to their constituents when running in 2020? It's pretty obvious that their have been almost none.

Team Pelosi has gone rogue as has Trump.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to JohnH... , December 02, 2019 at 12:30 PM
Yet, I have been assured by others here at EV that our two party representative political system is not merely engaging in so much Kabuki theatre in order to appear relevant. Who knew?
kurt -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 02, 2019 at 05:02 PM
Outside of the fact that this fellow is a liar of monumental proportion - for instance, this post alone contains 3 different lies - it is fundamentally untrue that BOTH parties are just engaged in theater. One actually passes legislation to help people and to reduce the influence of $$$. The other - as former Republican party member Norm Orenstein has pointed out - is anti-democracy, pro-despotism and a insurgent danger with a propaganda arm.
ilsm -> kurt... , December 03, 2019 at 05:12 AM
Huh... all team Pelosi/Schumer of is rant against the US constitution, demean the congress, disdain the office of the President and make up things about the Donald.

See the continuing resolution good through 20 Dec because Pelosi who owns the House won't face the responsibility to try and run the US government's purse.

ilsm -> JohnH... , December 03, 2019 at 05:08 AM
Team Pelosi like the faux liberals are sponsored by the same owners of the swamp!

Never attribute to Trump derangement what can be explained by a criminal conspiracy.

JohnH -> EMichael... , December 05, 2019 at 05:13 PM
More selective outrage from EMichael, the partisan hack.

Sure, it's horrendous that Trump pardoned a war criminal. But let's not forget that Obama never even prosecuted torturers ... or closed Guantanamo as promised.

As usual for EMichael and his ilk, what's a horror when their party does something, it's perfectly acceptable when his party does it.

kurt -> EMichael... , December 06, 2019 at 11:18 AM
All these years of being a almost pacifist and now I am seeing the error in my ways. Sometimes - hopefully increasingly less often - good people must rise up and stomp out evil. The pardons were not just condoning war crimes - it was telling the nazi ahs in the ranks that they can do the same domestically. The right has an army within the US. Most of the officers are okay - but that said, they are tolerating nazis, white supremacists, oathkeepers and dominionists in their ranks. These exceptions are to let the other nazis know they can mass murder if the want.

[Dec 07, 2019] This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent.

Zionist McCarthyism?
Notable quotes:
"... Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians. ..."
"... Yes. This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

JohnH -> anne... , December 06, 2019 at 03:53 PM

Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians.

If Bernie were not Jewish, there would have been an enormous smear campaign against him for exactly the same reasons.

likbez -> JohnH... , December 07, 2019 at 01:53 AM


Charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn are highly suspect. From what I can see, they all stem from Corbyn's remarks supporting Palestinian rights in the face of the Israeli government's institutionalized racism and oppression of Palestinians.

Yes. This is clearly one of the most dirty tricks played by UK Israel lobby, if we talk about Corbin. Baseless charge of anti-Semitism became a political smear, the way to destroy political opponent.

Much like charge of "Putin stooge" in the USA. And Russophobia is very similar to Anti-Semitism, if you think about it. It serves as a kind of politically correct anti-Semitism.

[Dec 07, 2019] Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

likbez -> kurt... , December 07, 2019 at 12:45 AM

"Russia is an Oligarchy. Putin is the richest man in the world."

Russia is an oligarchy. Like the USA and all Western countries. Oligarchy is the "rule of the few", the rule of elite. We know that this is where any state (or mass party) lands due to the "Iron law of oligarchy". So what's new ?

FYI the USA is a neoliberal plutocracy, which is pretty bad, degraded form of oligarchy. And it is currently experiences its deep crisis as neoliberal ideology is dead, and economics entered the phase of a secular stagnation.

This created the situation in which neoliberal elite can't rule "as usual" and "deplorable" do not want to live "as usual".

Such a situation is called a Classic Marxism a "revolutionary situation" and there is something in this definition. That's why we got Trump. So he is just a sign of the deep crisis of the USA neoliberal plutocracy.

In any case this is adeep political crisis. In this sense "impeachment Kabuki theatre" is just a tip of the iceberg and manifests the same problem

Presence on the political stage of people with noticeable senility problem like Biden and increased age of politicians in general is yet another sign of the same (can probably be called "Soviet Politburo syndrome").


But only completely brainwashed by neoliberal propaganda person can claim the Putin is "the richest man in the world"

Putin is way too clever to get into such a trap, when a person became Western powers marionette (like corrupt Yanukovich became ) because they can pull the strings and confiscate the ill gotten wealth anytime. BTW it was Biden, who threatened Yanukovich that if he uses force against protesters, his Western banks stored wealth is gone. We know what happened next with the help of Victoria Nuland.

Like Kissinger aptly said, neoliberal oligarchs are always pro-Western oligarch, because they have nowhere to go to store their wealth.

That means that Putin is "the richest man in the world" level of thinking can be viewed as typical for a person with severe senility problem due to his/her age.

This statement actually does not even deserve a comment, because person with such level of mental degradation can't understand argument of the other side.

[Dec 07, 2019] The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.

Notable quotes:
"... Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

ilsm -> JohnH... , November 29, 2019 at 09:05 AM

The average demorat, aside from worshipping Ba'al and hating the constitution, is depraved, been such since crooked Hillary forgot that the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 11:56 AM
"...the neocon, empire spreading, war mongering liberals living on the coasts do not run the world."

[Who says that they do not? Certainly, it is close enough to that for government work. Besides, in the end corporations and the interests of the donor class dictate the rules of engagement for both illiberal and unconservative politicians. How the dogs of politics fight over scraps thrown out for them should be of less interest to the wage class than who is throwing out the scraps to them.]

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:04 PM
Of course a former Air Force military hardware procurements officer likely knows no more about present day life among the wage class than a banker. That would be like thinking that a kid raised in poverty by the welfare state knew how to farm. Still, it is possible for either one to be haunted by guilt late in life.
ilsm -> RC (Ron) Weakley... , December 01, 2019 at 06:26 AM
I stand correct the closet cultural Marxists running with wall st centered on the left coasts forgot to fix the electoral college.
RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , December 01, 2019 at 06:35 AM
You are bound with your adversaries in ways known only to God, not a religious testimonial but merely a proxy for the abstraction of omniscience. Some things can be seen as clear as day and remain a complete mystery, to me at least.
ilsm -> EMichael... , November 29, 2019 at 09:08 AM
" Ethical military decision-making does not make us weak; it makes us strong. "

How does Obama busting up Libya, drone assassinating US citizens and arming up al Qaeda to give them Syria fit?

Trump has committed lesser war crimes than hios predecessors, and that gets hiom in trouble with the establishment....

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to ilsm... , November 30, 2019 at 12:15 PM
At the very least Trump is guilty of being Trump. So, if you believe the charges against Trump are Trumped up, then what else would you expect?

Just war theory and military ethics crumble to dust on the battle field. We rarely fight because it is right, but rather because in some context it seemed necessary at the time. After 9/11 there was an imperative that the US military wage an extended war against any and every group of Muslims that defied US global hegemony in any way.

The US Constitution was written and then rewritten repeatedly in blood going all the way back to Apr 19, 1775. That is what it means to be an American, son, my Cherokee ancestors notwithstanding.

RC (Ron) Weakley said in reply to RC (Ron) Weakley... , November 30, 2019 at 12:16 PM
We are all brethren, fellow sons of a bloody mother...

[Dec 07, 2019] China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline is now operational

Dec 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , December 02, 2019 at 06:52 AM

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-12/02/c_138600270.htm

December 2, 2019

China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline in operation

HARBIN -- The China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline was put into operation on Monday.

At the gas-distributing and compressing station in the city of Heihe, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, the data screen was switched on, indicating parameter variations of the gas passage. The station is the first stop after the Russia-supplied natural gas enters China.

The pipeline is scheduled to provide China with 5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in 2020 and the amount is expected to increase to 38 billion cubic meters annually from 2024, under a 30-year contract worth 400 billion U.S. dollars signed between the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Russian gas giant Gazprom in May 2014.

The cross-border gas pipeline has a 3,000-km section in Russia and a 5,111-km stretch in China.

Shao Hua, general manager of Heihe City Natural Gas Development Co., Ltd. of China Gas, said that the border city of Heihe still largely relies on coal for heat. With the Sino-Russian natural gas pipeline's operation, the city now has access to a stable supply of clean energy.

Heihe has registered 30,000 households for switching to natural gas for heating. It will take one year to complete full coverage of the gas network in the city, according to the company.

China's natural gas consumption reached 280.3 billion cubic meters in 2018. The country's demand for natural gas will continue to soar toward 2040, outstripping domestic output by around 43 percent, according to an International Energy Agency report.

China aims to raise the use of natural gas to 10 percent of the country's energy mix by 2020 and 15 percent by 2030, said the National Development and Reform Commission.

anne -> anne... , December 02, 2019 at 06:56 AM
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-25/how-russia-china-gas-pipeline-changes-energy-calculus-quicktake

November 25, 2019

How Russia-China Gas Pipeline Changes Energy Calculus
By Olga Tanas, Anna Shiryaevskaya and Dan Murtaugh - Bloomberg

Russia is pivoting its energy business to the east. The world's largest exporter of natural gas has built an enormous pipeline running from Siberia to the Chinese border to feed China's insatiable energy appetite. The new conduit, called the Power of Siberia, is part of a plan by Russian President Vladimir Putin to reduce his country's dependence on gas markets in Europe and tap into the fast-growing economies of Asia. For China, whose domestic energy production can't keep up with demand, the pipeline offers a vital new source of supply....

Paine -> anne... , December 02, 2019 at 08:09 AM
"Deep Sam "
Is pushing Russia and China together. It's good for great game high jinx to have a formidable opponent. Nixon be damned

[Dec 06, 2019] The '80s called! Impeachment witness Karlan mocked for suggesting Ukrainians are helping prevent Russian invasion of US

Notable quotes:
"... Karlan's emphatic doomsday warning produced stunned reaction online, with conservative journalist Jack Posobiec describing the moment as one in which the respected professor went "full neocon." ..."
"... For most level-headed experts, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Americans would need to be 'fighting the Russians' on US soil, regardless of US policy in Ukraine -- but perhaps Karlan just took 'Red Dawn', a 1980s Soviet-invasion movie, a bit too seriously. ..."
"... "No wonder Russia is leary of the US -- this is what is being taught to our children," ..."
"... "Hey, the '80s called and wants its foreign policy back or something," ..."
"... the professor accused Trump of "violating his oath" to defend the Constitution and sacrificing the national interest "for his own private ends" in his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, around which the impeachment hearings are centered. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.rt.com

Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan raised eyebrows online for suggesting during congressional impeachment hearings that the US must keep Ukraine strong "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here." Yes, you read that right. It seems in Karlan's mind, all that's stopping "the Russians" from invading the US is the Ukrainian army, which must be kept strong to stave off the ultimate disaster. The law professor made the baffling comment during the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Karlan's emphatic doomsday warning produced stunned reaction online, with conservative journalist Jack Posobiec describing the moment as one in which the respected professor went "full neocon."

Professor Karlan just went full neocon and said we need to arm Ukraine to fight the Russians there so we don't have to fight them here. Yes, really. pic.twitter.com/jeMPXgP7kf

-- Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) December 4, 2019

"The students who are paying through the nose at Stanford are really not getting value for money," added author and commentator George Szamuely, referring to Karlan's teaching role at the prestigious university. "Anyone else would be laughed out of the pub," for making such a statement, Szamuely continued.

The statement is so cretinous that one can safely say that only a Stanford law professor could utter it. Anyone else would be laughed out of the pub.

-- George Szamuely (@GeorgeSzamuely) December 4, 2019

For most level-headed experts, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Americans would need to be 'fighting the Russians' on US soil, regardless of US policy in Ukraine -- but perhaps Karlan just took 'Red Dawn', a 1980s Soviet-invasion movie, a bit too seriously.

Some on Twitter also wondered where Karlan had been when the Obama administration was denying military aid to Ukraine -- particularly as she herself worked at the Justice Department during his presidency.

"No wonder Russia is leary of the US -- this is what is being taught to our children," another person said .

"Hey, the '80s called and wants its foreign policy back or something," wrote another.

During her testimony, the professor accused Trump of "violating his oath" to defend the Constitution and sacrificing the national interest "for his own private ends" in his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, around which the impeachment hearings are centered.

[Dec 06, 2019] Who Is Making US Foreign Policy by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive. ..."
"... The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain. ..."
"... Listen to the podcast here ..."
"... War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
"... The John Batchelor Show ..."
"... Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline! ..."
"... You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills. ..."
"... It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy. ..."
"... CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it. ..."
"... We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them. ..."
"... Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise. ..."
"... Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards. ..."
"... Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as . ..."
"... Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board. ..."
"... There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value. ..."
"... In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination ..."
"... Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The ' heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice. ..."
"... To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.) ..."
"... or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric? ..."
"... The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid. ..."
"... "TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ". Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ? ..."
"... Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad. ..."
"... Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
President Trump campaigned and was elected on an anti-neocon platform: he promised to reduce direct US involvement in areas where, he believed, America had no vital strategic interest, including in Ukraine. He also promised a new détente ("cooperation") with Moscow.

And yet, as we have learned from their recent congressional testimony, key members of his own National Security Council did not share his views and indeed were opposed to them. Certainly, this was true of Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Both of them seemed prepared for a highly risky confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, though whether retroactively because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

Similarly, Trump was slow in withdrawing Marie Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer appointed by President Obama as ambassador to Kiev, who had made clear, despite her official position in Kiev, that she did not share the new American president's thinking about Ukraine or Russia. In short, the president was surrounded in his own administration, even in the White House, by opponents of his foreign policy and presumably not only in regard to Ukraine.

How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees.

A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive.

The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain.

Listen to the podcast here . Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate , is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show , now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .


Curmudgeon , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT

because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

In an otherwise decent overview, this sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be helpful to stop using the word annexation. While correct in a technical sense – that Crimea was added to the Russian Federation – the word comes with all kinds of connotations, that imply illegality and or force. Given Crimea was given special status when gifted to Ukraine for administration by the USSR, one could just as easily apply "annexation" of Crimea to Ukraine. After Ukraine voted to "leave" the USSR, Crimea voted to join Ukraine. Obviously the "Ukrainian" vote did not include Crimea. Even after voting to join Ukraine, Crimea had special status within Ukraine, and was semi autonomous. If you can vote to join, you can vote to leave. Either you have the right to self determination, or you don't.

Rebel0007 , says: December 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT
This is what is so infuriating, Stephen! These silent coups of the executive branch have been taking place for my entire life! Both parties are guilty of refusing to appoint cabinet members that the elected presidents would have chosen for themselves, because both parties are more interested in making the president of the opposing party look bad, make him ineffective, and incapable of carrying out policies that he was elected to carry out. That is the very definition of treason!

Things are a disaster. The JCPOA is at the heart of the issue and Trump and his advisors stubborn refusal to capitulate on this issue very well may cause Trump to lose the 2020 election. Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline!

The anti-Iranian fever has created so much havoc not only with Iran, but with every country on earth other than Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Germany announced that it is seeking to unite with Russia, not only for Gazprom, but is now considering purchasing defense systems from Russia, and Germany is dictating EU policy, by and large. Germany has said that Europe must be able to defend itself independent of America and is requesting an EU military and Italy is on board with this idea, seeking to create jobs and weapons for its economy and defense.

The EU is fed up with the economic sanctions placed on countries that the U.S. has black-listed, particularly Russia and Iran, and China as well for Huwaei 5G.

Nobody in their right mind could ever claim this to be the free market capitalism that Larry Kudlow espouses!

National Institute for Study of the O... , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm GMT
You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills.

It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy.

CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it.

follyofwar , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon Pat Buchanan also uses the word "annexation" all the time.
Rebel0007 , says: December 6, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT
National Institute for the study of the obvious,

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

It is a political game between to competing kleptocratic cults. The DNC and RNC are whores and will do what ever their donors tell them to do. That is also treason. This country is just a total wasteland.

Everyone has pledged allegiance to fraud.

Too big to fail, like the Titanic and the Hindenberg.

We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them.

Haxo Angmark , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise.
Monty Ahwazi , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:03 am GMT
What kind of stupid question is this? You mean you don't know or asking us for confirmation? If you really don't know then why are you writing an article about it? If you do know then why are you asking the UNZ readers?
animalogic , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:21 am GMT
Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards.
EdNels , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
@Rebel0007

It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths.

That's ok but it's a bit unfair to Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths After all most of the country is Hedonistic as hell, it sells commercials or wtf. Satanic is philosophical and way over the heads of these clowns, though if the be a Satan, then they are in the plan for sure, and right on the mark. As for psychopaths, those are criminals who are insane, but they can have remorse and be their own worst enemies, often they just go off and go psycho and bad things happen, but can be unplanned off the wall stuff, not diabolic.

Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as .

So, once upon a time, a people got so hedonistic and they didn't watch the game and theier leaders were low quality (especially religeous/morals ) and long story short Satan unleashed the Socio's , Things seem to be heading disastrously, so will bit coin save the day? Green nudeal?

Jon Baptist , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
The simple questions that beg to be asked are who are the accusers and what media agencies are providing the amplification to transmit these accusations?
https://forward.com/news/national/434664/impeachment-trump-democrats-jewish/
https://www.jta.org/2019/11/15/politics/the-tell-the-jewish-players-in-impeachment

There is also this link courtesy of Haass' CFR – https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/russia-trump-and-2016-us-election

While massive attention is directed towards Russia and the Ukraine, the majority of the public are shown the slight of hand and their attention is never brought near to the real perpetrators of subverting American and British foreign policy.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/watch-film-israel-lobby-didnt-want-you-see/25876
http://joshdlindsay.com/2019/04/the-israel-lobby-in-the-u-s-al-jazeera-documentary/
The Truth Archive
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The Israeli Lobby in the United States of America (2017) – Full Documentary HD

polistra , says: December 6, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
Doesn't matter if he's surrounded. A president CAN make foreign policy, and a president CAN fire people who disagree with his policy. Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board.
sally , says: December 6, 2019 at 8:51 am GMT
@Rebel0007

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

--
first off the supreme law of the land maybe the Constitution and to oppose it may be Treason, but the Law that is supreme to the Law of the land is Human rights law.. it is far superior to, and it is the TLD of all laws of the land of all of the Nation States that mankind has allowed the greedy among its masses, to impose.

There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value.

If you note the USA constitution has seven articles..

Article 1 is about 525 elected members of congress and their very limited powers to control
foreign activities. Each qualified to vote member of the governed (a citizen so to speak) is allowed to
vote for only 3 of the 525 persons. so basically there is no real national election anywhere .

Article II grants the electoral college the power to appoint two persons full control of the assets,
resources and manpower of America to conquer the entire world or to make peace in the entire world.
Either way: the governed are not allowed to vote for either; the EC vote determines the P or VP.

Article III allows the Article II person to appoint yes men to the judiciary

Where exist the power of the governed to deny USA governors the ability to the use the powers the constitution claims the governors are to have, against the governed? <==No where I can find? Theoretically, the governed are protected from abuse for as long as it takes to conduct due process?

One person, the Article II person, is basically the king when in comes to constitutional authority to establish, conduct, prosecute or defend USA involvement in foreign affairs.

No where does the constitution of the USA deny its President the use of American resources or USA military power, to make and use diplomat appointments, or to use the USA to use the wealth of America and the hegemonic powers of the USA to make a private or public profit in a foreign land. <= d/n matter if the profit is personal to the President or if it assigned by appointment (like the feudal powers granted by the feudal kings to the feudal lords) to corporate feudal lords or oligarch personal interest.

AFAICT, the president can USE the USA to conduct war, invade or otherwise infringe on, even destroy, the territory, or a private or public interest, within a foreign sovereign more or less at will. So if the President wants to command a private or secret Army like the CIA, he can as far as I can tell, obviously this president does, because he could with his pen alone shut it down.

Seems to me the "NO" from Wilson's four points

  1. no more secret diplomacy peace settlement must not lead the way to new wars
  2. no retribution, unjust claims, and huge fines <basically indemnities paid by the losers to the winners.
  3. no more war; includes controls on armaments and arming of nations.
  4. no more Trade Barriers so the nations of the world would become more interdependent.

have been made the essence of nation state operations world wide.

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
@Curmudgeon all of that, plus the Kosovo precedent.

In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:52 am GMT
Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The 'heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice.

To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.)

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/majority-germans-wants-less-reliance-us-more-engagement-russia/ri27985

Macron said that NATO is " brain dead " :

https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/11/07/emmanuel-macron-warns-europe-nato-is-becoming-brain-dead

The more the US sanctions so many countries around the world , the more the US generate an anti US reaction around the world .

gotmituns , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Could it be israel?
DrWatson , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:20 am GMT
Trump should have kept Steve Bannon as his advisor and should have fired instead his son-in-law. Perhaps "they" are blackmailing Trump with photos like here: https://www.pinterest.com/richarddesjarla/creepy/

That would explain why Trump is so ineffective at making a reality anything he campaigned for.

Marshall Lentini , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:28 am GMT
@melpol Betas in power -- an underappreciated dimension of this morass.
propagandist hacker , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 11:29 am GMT
or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?
Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT

An anti-neocon president appears to have been surrounded by neocons in his own administration.

The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT
@sally

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker

or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?

That is my contention.

Sean , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm GMT
MICHAEL CARPENTER Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2015 to 2017.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2019-11-26/oligarchs-who-lost-ukraine-and-won-washington

Halfway around the world from Washington's halls of power, Ukraine sits along a civilizational and geopolitical fault line. To Ukraine's west are the liberal democracies of Europe, governed by rule of law and democratic principles. To its east are Russia and its client states in Eurasia, almost all of which are corrupt oligarchies. [ ] In this war on democratic movements and democratic principles, Russia's biggest prize and chief adversary has always been the United States. Until now, however, Russia has always had to contend with bipartisan resolve to counter

No mention of China, and this is the problem with the whole foreign policy establishment not just the neocons. Russia is more of an annoyance than anything, but they are still operating assumptions on what is the Geographical Pivot of History , so they want to talk about Russia. Like an Edwardian sea cadet we are supposed to care about Russia getting (back) a water port in Crimea. Mahan's definition of sea power included a strong commercial fleet. After tearing their own environment apart like a car in a wrecking yard and heating up the planet China has taken time out from deforestation and colonising Tibet, to send huge container vessels full of cheap goods through the melting Arctic round the top of Russia all the better to get to Europe and deindustrialise it.

Western elites have sold out to China, seen as the future, so we hear about Russia rather than the three million Uyghurs in concentration camps complete with constantly smoking crematoria, and harvesting of organs for rich foreigners.

Who poses a greater threat to the West: China or Russia?
By the time the West finds itself in open conflict with Beijing, we will have lost our relative advantage. Brendan Simms and K.C. Lin [ ] The concept of China being a threat is harder to comprehend. In what way? Yes, its hacking and intellectual property theft is a headache. But is it worse than what Russia is up to? And don't we need Chinese investment, so does it really matter if China builds our 5G mobile networks? In London, ministers agonise over these issues -- not knowing whether to pity China (we still send foreign aid there), beg for its money and contracts (with prime ministerial trade trips), or treat it as a potential antagonist.

Aid ! They sent robots to the far side of the Moon

Beijing has been the beneficiary of liberal revulsion at the Trump presidency: if the Donald is against the Chinese, who cannot be for them? As a result, Trump's efforts to address China's unfair trade practices have so far missed the mark with the domestic and international audience. As Trump declares war on free trade, China -- one of the most protectionist economies in the world -- is now celebrated at Davos as the avatar of free trade. Later this month, China's Vice-President is likely to be in attendance at Davos -- and there is even talk of him meeting with Trump. Similarly, the messiness of American politics has made China's one-party state an apparent poster boy of political stability and governability.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm GMT
911endofdays.blogspot.com : "Sackcloth&Ashes – The 16th Trump of Arcana " :

"TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ".
Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ?

JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT

Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad.

The military/intelligence imperial establishment definitely see Israel as a kind of American colony in the Mideast, and they make sure that it's well provided for. That's what the Neocon Wars have been about. Paving over large parts of Israel's noisy neighborhood. And that includes matters like keeping Syria off-balance with occupation in its northeast. And constantly threatening Iran.

Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things.

By the way, the last President who tried seriously to make foreign policy as the elected head of government left half of his head splattered on thec streets of Dallas.

Sick of Orcs , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker Or he was fooled, tricked, bribed, coerced by The HoloNose.

Don't get me wrong, the Orange Sellout is to blame regardless.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist We have all been brainwashed by the propaganda screened by the massmedia ,whether it be FOX , MSNBC , CBS ,etc.. SeptemberClues.info has a good article entitled "The central role of the news media on 9/11 " :

"The 9/11 psyop relied foremostly on that weakspot of ours .We all fell for the images we saw on TV at the time we can only wonder why so many never questioned the absurd TV coverage proposed by all the major networks The 9/11 TV imagery of the crucial morning events was just a computer-animated, pre-fabricated movie."

Was "The Harley Guy" a crisis actor ?

geokat62 , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who.

Close. You got 4 of the correct letters, AIPAC. You were just missing the P.

CIA runs your country.

No, Jewish Supremacist oligarchs run America.

Herald , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT
@follyofwar Pat inhabits a strange Hollywood type world, where the US is always the good guy. He believes that, although the US may make foreign policy mistakes, its aims and ambitions are nevertheless noble and well intentioned.

In Pat's world it's still circa 1955, but even then, his take on US foreign policy would have been hopelessly unrealistic.

[Dec 06, 2019] The USA is an occupied by neocon country

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online. ..."
"... And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger ..."
"... The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq ..."
"... On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point). ..."
"... Trump will never beat an actually decent candidate, he occupies the White House because Clinton was the worst candidate in American history. He's (probably) going to win again because his opponents are even more unpopular and incompetent than he is. ..."
"... No, they are only using the mendacious phrase "spreading democracy" as a cover for what they really want to spread: globalist neoliberalism. ..."
"... The left is shameless, duplicitous and disingenous in the extreme when it comes to Russia (and frankly anything else). To be honest it was my collegiate experiences in the 1980s, comparing the handwaving garbage with what my own eyes saw in the East Bloc, that made me a lifetime, permanent rightist. The left is bankrupt, full of liars and dissemblers and needs to be stopped at any cost. ..."
"... I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014). ..."
"... NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.). ..."
"... The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

In the Year of Our Lord 2019, sixteen years after this nation launched the catastrophic Iraq War, the following words were spoken on Capitol Hill this week:

We have become the shining city on a hill. We have become the nation that leads the world in understanding what democracy is. And one of the things we understand most profoundly is it's not a real democracy, it's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies. And I think you heard testimony - the Intelligence Committee heard testimony about how it isn't just our national interest in protecting our own elections. It's not just our national interest in making sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front line so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here, but it's also our national interest in promoting democracy worldwide.

This was not the second coming of the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Bolton brigade. This was Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Democrat called by her party to testify in this week's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.

Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online.

And I'm old enough to remember these lines from President Bush's second inaugural address, in 2005:

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

That didn't work out too well for us, for Iraq, or for the Middle East.

And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger.


Loetzen 9 hours ago • edited ,
The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq

On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point).

The same thing will happen here. Lesson learned.

Fran Macadam Rod Dreher 8 hours ago ,

There are, as Victoria Nuland put it,